عنوان مقاله [English]
Given the growing global hunger in recent years, creating and increasing resilience among disadvantaged and impoverished communities, emphasized in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, is a significant concern to most countries. The term resilience is generally considered as the capacity of a system to withstand various risks, and household resilience can be defined as the ability to return to the previous level of living conditions after a shock. Since one of the most critical shocks that farmers have faced in Iran is drought, the present study aimed to estimate the effect of drought on rural farmers’ household resilience in a selected village in Qalandar Abad district in Iran.
Materials and Methods
The factor analysis method was used to estimate the components of the Resilience Index Measurement and Analysis (RIMA) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the Mimic (Multiple indicators_ multiple causes) method was used to estimate the latent variable of resilience. RIMA, which considers resilience as a latent variable, includes four main components of Access to Basic Services (ABS), Assets (AST), Social Safety Nets (SSN), and Adaptive Capacity (AC). Also, according to the purpose of the study on estimating the resilience of rural households with the MIMIC method, at least two food security indicators at the household level, as multiple indicators of resilience, are required. The food security indices used in the calculations of this study include the Household Hunger Scale Index and the household Food Consumption Score. The samples included 149 farmers randomly selected from Hossein Abad Rekhneh Gol village, and data were collected through interviews with the household head. To reveal the effect of different shocks on the rural resilience households, self-reported information such as drought, livestock loss, and the characteristics of the households were used through an Ordinary Last Square regression.
Results and Discussion
In the first stage, each of the pillars of resilience, including Access to Basic Services, Assets, Social Safety Nets, and Adaptive Capacity, which are considered latent variables, shows a higher correlation between the variables, and the calculated pillars indicate the greater importance of that variable in each of the resilience components. According to the results, among the variables that constitute the pillar of access to basic services, "the distance from the household to the health center" variable correlates with this pillar, which indicates its high importance. In addition, the "attending school years" is one of the most important variables in forming and creating the adaptive capacity of a household to the crises ahead. The agricultural water availability and the total yield during a year play an important role in creating the asset pillar. Regarding creating the social safety nets pillar, as we expected, the governmental cash transfers, through monthly subsidies, the Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation, and the State Welfare Organization of Iran, is the most crucial variable. The results obtained from the food consumption (FCS) score index showed that 117 out of 149 studied households are within the acceptable threshold, 28 households are on the borderline, and four households are in a poor food consumption situation. The Hunger Scale Index showed that out of 149 households, 62 households are on the little to no hunger threshold, while 81 households are on the moderate hunger and six households are on the severe hunger threshold. Also, based on the results of the MIMIC model, among the calculated pillars, household assets is the most important. The increase of one standard deviation unit in AST will increase 0.06 standard deviation units in the resilience capacity index. Adaptive capacity and social safety nets pillars also play a significant role in creating resilience for rural households. Thus, increasing one standard deviation in the AC and SSN led to an increase in the magnitude of the resilience by 0.04 and 0.03 standard deviations, respectively. Finally, the effect of different shocks on the rural resilience households showed that variables such as drought, livestock loss, and gender of household head (being female) have a negative effect on their resilience. The size of the household has a positive impact, which means that the more family members, the more resilience.
One of the critical goals of underdeveloped and developing countries, is to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development. In Iran, like other developing countries, smallholder farmers are known to be vulnerable to environmental and economic changes such as climate change, rising prices of agricultural inputs, etc. Therefore, adopting and implementing policies that lead to a fair income distribution for vulnerable people is essential. Estimating the RIMA makes it possible to rank households based on their strengths, weaknesses, and current needs. Budget allocation and the policy time duration are two limiting factors that may optimize using the RIMA results. The present study examined the RIMA and the effect of drought on the calculated index for the first time in Iran for a specific region. Since the ranking of households based on resilience requires awareness of all vulnerable households' situations, the definition of short-term and long-term projects in the future development plans is essential. To identify "the most vulnerable groups" and "the most important challenges and shocks," these scheduled projects are vital for budget allocation prioritization.