عنوان مقاله [English]
In order to meet the increasing demands of the growing population, it is essential to boost rice production. This not only ensures food security but also helps maintain environmental well-being. To achieve these goals, it is crucial for crop management research to focus on increasing rice yields while minimizing water usage. In Iran, particularly in the Rudbar region, recognizing the significance of rice cultivation in agriculture is of utmost importance. To improve rice field management, various aspects such as water and soil resource management, pest and disease control, nutrition management, sales and marketing strategies, human resources and social capital management, as well as technical and agricultural improvements need to be addressed. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to identify more effective methods for managing the rice fields in Rudbar county, Iran. Materials and Methos Initially, the researchers conducted a comprehensive analysis of available national and international databases to gather background information for the study. This analysis aimed to establish an initial list of components that could contribute to improving the management of rice fields. The statistical population of the study consisted of all 850 rice farmers in Rudbar City. Using the Karjesi-Morgan table, a statistical sample size of 265 participants was estimated, which corresponded to the size of the population. Eventually, 252 questionnaires were collected after distributing them to the participants, resulting in an 88% response rate. The opinions of faculty members from Tehran University's Department of Agricultural Management and Development were sought to assess the content validity of the questionnaire which was finally confirmed. To assess the reliability or internal consistency of the questionnaire, Cronbach's alpha coefficient was calculated for each of its components. All coefficients were found to be above 0.7, indicating good reliability of the study tool. The data obtained from the questionnaires was subjected to statistical analysis using the LISREL 8.8 software. A confirmatory factor analysis model was applied to examine the data. The reliability of the indicators loaded on each structure was evaluated using the t statistic. Indicators with values exceeding the critical limit of 1.96 were considered to have the required precision for measuring the relevant structure. Additionally, significant factor loadings were determined by extracting values greater than 0.5 from the factor loadings. It is important to note that Cronbach's alpha (with values higher than 0.7) was utilized to assess the reliability of the constructs.
Results and Discussion
The research findings highlighted several significant factors that have a substantial impact on improving the management of rice farms. These factors encompassed various aspects, including water and soil management, human resources and social capital, nutrition management, pest, disease, and weed management, technical and agricultural management, as well as sales and marketing management. Regarding water and soil management, the study emphasized the importance of optimal application of water resources, consideration of water quality, sediment control, and prevention of toxins and sewage from entering rice fields. Given the submerged nature of some rice stalks and the perpetually swampy conditions of rice fields, it is crucial to ensure the quality of incoming water and prevent the presence of mud and sediments. In terms of nutrition management, the research findings stressed the significance of using fertilizers effectively to enhance rice productivity. This involved post-planting strengthening, adherence to appropriate fertilizer consumption guidelines, and the utilization of plant and animal residues. Nutrition management, along with pest and disease control, played a vital role in successful rice field management. Another factor contributing to effective rice field management was the control of pests, diseases, and weeds. The study highlighted the benefits of employing an integrated approach to manage rice plant diseases and pests, which yielded better outcomes. The research findings also emphasized the role of technical and agricultural management in enhancing rice field operations. This included the use of transplanting machinery and improved seeds, mechanization of cultivation activities, and the application of fertilizer spraying machinery. These measures underscored the need for innovation in rice fields, emphasizing the importance of mechanization and the utilization of modern agricultural instruments. It was recommended that rice producers embrace technological advancements to optimize their technical and agricultural practices. Furthermore, the management of human resources and social capital played a significant role in rice field management. This encompassed fostering the growth of social capital, enhancing knowledge and skills, and utilizing mass media for skill and career development. The findings suggested that increasing cooperation, trust, and organization among rice farmers could be a strategy to revive social capital and enhance management practices. Lastly, the study highlighted important features of rice sales and marketing, such as employing an appropriate distribution system, excluding profit-seekers from the marketing cycle, and establishing regular customer relationships. Overall, the research findings emphasized the importance of addressing various factors, including water and soil management, nutrition management, pest and disease control, technical and agricultural management, human resources and social capital, as well as sales and marketing management, in order to effectively manage rice fields. Implementing these strategies would contribute to improved productivity and sustainable management practices in rice cultivation.
The findings of the study indicated the significance of several measures to improve the management of rice fields. These measures included the utilization of additional fertilizers and adherence to fertilizer usage guidelines, as well as the adoption of mechanized planting and harvesting equipment. It was also recommended to provide skill training programs for rice farmers and introduce online marketing platforms to facilitate the sale of rice. Furthermore, the study highlighted the importance of establishing specialized communication channels and implementing a contract system for rice production and sales through dedicated local organizations. This approach would ensure efficient coordination and enhance the management of rice fields. Additionally, private businesses were recognized for introducing new technologies, while the government played a crucial role in providing the necessary infrastructure and platforms to support rice field management. Improving the skills of rice farmers, especially in terms of market innovations, was identified as a key factor in enhancing the management of rice fields. This aspect should be considered alongside institutional and policy-making advancements to ensure comprehensive improvements in rice field management.