عنوان مقاله [English]
Introduction Agriculture relies on nature and farmers face environmental, social, financial and legal issues that makes farming to be consistently and strongly associated with risk. Agriculture can be considered to be the most risky economic venture. Ahmadi (1) listed several main sources of risk that farmers face. Economic risk includes price fluctuations for raw materials such as seed and fertilizer and for machinery at the pre-market delivery stage, difficulty obtaining bank credit and loans, price volatility for products in the post market delivery stage, inconsistent government policies for products and global fluctuations in the price of products. Social risk includes theft of crops, production and agricultural machinery and war. Nature-related risk includes natural disasters, climate change, agricultural pests and diseases. Market risk includes changes in the price of raw materials and products and increasing interest rates. Given that the range of agricultural activities having critical risk are diverse and the climate can vary widely, more sophisticated services are needed to meet the demands, cope with hazards and decrease risk. Understanding how women rice farmers deal with risk is essential for educators, and agriculture-related industries such as insurance, and policymakers. If the attitudes of these women towards risk are accurately recognized, risk management strategies, risk-related educational programs and risk strategies can be designed to meet their needs. The overallaim of this research isto investigate factors affecting risk management, and proposing and designing a model among rice cultivating women in Sari.
Materials and Methods: The population of the study comprised 1677rice cultivating women in Sari of whom 248 were selected through stratified random sampling. A combination of quantitative, and descriptive-inferential statistics served as the methodology for the study and SPSS 16 and LISREL were applied for data analysis. To determine the validity of the questionnaire, copies were distributed to experts in the field and their comments were recorded and relevant corrections were made. Corrected content validity was determined by experts at the Agricultural Organization of Mazandaran province, then reliability of the questionnaire was assessed by random completion of 30 questionnaires by women rice farmers in Qaem Shahr by interview and survey. Cronbach’s alpha and ordinal theta were 0.84 and 0.89, respectively. The questionnaire contained questions about age, work experience, area of owned land, extent of financial difficulty related to rice farming, and educational level of the women rice farmers. The questionnaire contained questions about risk management approaches (17 questions), sources of information for women rice farmers in Sari (12 questions) and sources for borrowing funds (7 questions). The Likert scale was: none (0), very low (1), low (2), moderate (3), high (4), and very high (5).
Results and Discussion: The average age range of women in the study was 46.68 years and their relative work experience was 26.17 years. The average financial difficulty for the women was high. The woman rice farmers were most likely to obtain loans from friends and neighbors and also to obtain financing from winning lottery. There was a significant positive relationship between information resources, borrowing resources, extent of financial difficulty, rice cultivation experience, and educational level with risk management methods. Tabatabaee et al. (30) stated that the extent of borrowing affected risk management. Tiraee (31) pointed to agricultural experience affecting risk management. Monfared (21), Torkamani and Ezatabadi (33) and Garavandi and Alibige (10) believe that the level of education affects risk management,which is consistent with the results of this study. Structural equation modeling showed that information sources influenced the use of risk management methods.Structural equation modeling showed that information sources had an effect on risk management rate which is consistent with the results of Tabatabaeeet al.(30) and Stevenet al.(29).
Conclusion: The results indicate that the average age of women was 46.68 years and their average work experience was 26.17 years, which represents a good work experience on paddy land. Women should be encouraged to pursue off-farm income sources and occupations as risk management methods. Collaborative rice farming and consulting agricultural experts are other forms of risk management. Recommended sources of information were the Internet, Jihad-e-Keshavarzi management and service center, participating in agricultural extension classes, educational publications and communicating with agricultural experts. Women farmers should be encouraged to increase their knowledge and awarenessabout the sources of risk and this can improve risk management. This should be regarded as a mission for agriculture extensions. Borrowing sources, the extent of farmer financial difficulties, work experience and educational level should be considered when risk management methods for women rice farmers are advocated.