Volume 10, Issue 36 (summer 2021 2021)                   2021, 10(36): 163-182 | Back to browse issues page

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Vahdani E, Asadian F. Feasibility study of saffron cultivation in rural areas of Kurdistan province. SPACE ECONOMY & RURAL DEVELOPMENT 2021; 10 (36) :163-182
URL: http://serd.khu.ac.ir/article-1-3701-en.html
1- PhD student in climatology, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran , eqbal.vahdani@gmail.com
2- Assistant Professor of climatology, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran
Abstract:   (2039 Views)
Agriculture is central to the economy of Kurdistan Province and plays an essential role both in the economic and political dynamism of this province. Assessing the feasibility of lands to cultivate and promote new crops is a strategic priority which increases the welfare of rural residents and optimizes resource consumption. Therefore, appropriate and optimal land use for agricultural purposes require careful evaluation of these resources as well as a meticulous investigation of climatic agricultural zoning for these lands. Climatic agricultural zoning is a set of conditions that provides the economic possibility of cultivation of each plant according to the climatic conditions in that region. Some reasons such as villagers’ economic poverty and recent droughts, the need to promote crops with low water consumption, as well as the area similarities in climatic conditions with other saffron provider areas in the country justify the development and promotion of such crops in this region. It is expected that expansion of such crops will strength the economic and social foundations of the people in the future. Saffron as the most expensive agricultural and medicinal product in the world due to its drought resistance, low water consumption, high maintenance, and the effects of employment and high income generation can play a vital role in rural development of the province.
This research is applied in terms of purpose and based on a descriptive-analytical research design. First, the layers were obtained from organizations and scientific centers in the region. Next, different weighting and analysis steps were performed for each of these layers. Climate, geomorphology and soil layers were used in this research. Each of these criteria is based on the necessary conditions for saffron cultivation as well as scientific sources and the opinion of experts.  Statistics and information were obtained from the Meteorological Organization of Kurdistan Province in order to prepare the climate maps of the study.  Also, UTM system was used as a basic coordinate system for the research to integrate the maps. After and before applying weights, the consistency of the comparisons should be ensured and the compatibility rate and rank should be calculated.
Maps with a pixel size of 50-50 meters are selected. The standard maps are classified according to AHP method and aim, in which the elements of each level are compared and weighed in pairs. In this study, a 9 9 matrix has been used to compare and weigh the elements. For the next stage, according to experts, 9 layers were used to weight. At the third stage, a 5 5 matrix was prepared which indicates the ability of saffron cultivation in the region. Paired comparisons are between rows and columns and a rating scale from 1 to 9 is a typical way for evaluation.  Finally, the valuation and weighting matrices were determined according to the ten criteria of the study. The sum of relative weights for the criteria will be one in the last column. After that, the obtained weights were multiplied in the map layers in Arc GIS 9.3 software, and then by overlay operation the scores of all the map layers were added together. Ultimately, the final map of the total scores was prepared which shows the zoning areas feasible to cultivate saffron in Kurdistan Province. Five categories of this map are very good, good, average, weak and unsuitable. 
Discussion and conclusion
The prosperity of the rural economy improves the living conditions of the villagers by preserving and promoting their human dignity. Recent droughts, Optimal use of natural resources, as well as the area similarities in climatic conditions with other saffron provider areas in the country justify this study, which is the feasibility of this crop in Kurdistan Province. Saffron as the most expensive agricultural product on the planet can be a good source of income for the poor rural population. Findings indicate that Kurdistan Province has the ability and potential of saffron cultivation. Therefore, the promotion of this cultivation is recommended for the economic development of rural areas in Kurdistan Province.
The final map, which shows the areas for saffron cultivation in the region, is obtained in five categories: very good, good, medium, poor and unsuitable. More than 4538.8 square kilometers, in other words about 16.21% of the area for saffron cultivation is in the class of very good or in fact very suitable and without any restrictions area.  In terms of geographical location, the green color area is illustrated in the eastern, northeastern and southern parts of Kurdistan Province, or in the counties of Qorveh, Dehgolan, Bijar and Kamyaran and a few spots in Marivan, Baneh and Saqqez. This zone is suitable and in compliance for the south of Korani District, east of central part and north of Chang Almas District in Bijar County, for Serish Abad District in Qorveh County, for Central District in Dehgolan County, and for Central District in Kamyaran County.  Good areas include 5404 square kilometers, in other words 19.30% of the province, which contains the most of the north of Sanandaj and north of Saqqez Counties.  Also, the other three classes, medium, weak and unsuitable classes, cover 31.71, 19.36 and 13.42% of the area, respectively. This is more in line with the western, southwestern and northwestern regions of Kurdistan Province. The expansion and popularity of this product is recommended due to the climatic and natural conditions of Kurdistan Province.
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special
Received: 2021/08/21 | Accepted: 2021/08/1

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