Exploring the effect of environmental indicators on agricultural sustainability in Golestan province

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD student of agricultural economics, University of Zabol, Zabol, Iran

2 Associate professor of agricultural economics, University of Zabol, Zabol, Iran

3 Assistant Professor of Agricultural Economics, Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, Gorgan, Iran

4 Assistant professor of Agricultural Economics, University of Zabol, Zabol, Iran


This study was performed to explore the 2020 agricultural sustainability through studying the environmental indicators in Golestan Province, Iran, using data and information acquired from the Agricultural Jihad Organization, Golestan Provincial Water and Wastewater Organization, Iran Meteorological Organization, and the Governorate of Golestan Province. According to the results, chemical pesticide and fertilizer usages, as well as nitrate concentration in groundwater, showed a negative effect whereas the cropping area, rainfall, conservation tillage practices, and cropping diversity showed a positive effect on the environmental indicators. Meanwhile, the highest and lowest weights were obtained respectively for conservation tillage practices (0.16) and cropping area (0.11) based on the application of analytical hierarchical analysis (AHP). Having prioritized the study area, Gonbad Kavus (89%) and Bandar-e-Turkmen (56%) were respectively the best and worst counties in terms of environmental indicators. In addition, conducting a sensitivity analysis with a shifting range of 1-5% showed the indicators have constancy with no priority changes. Finally, the counties of Golestan province were classified into stable, relatively stable, and unstable categories. Taking the findings into account, the sustainability of agriculture in Golestan province can be enhanced by implementing the proposed environmental indicators into the planning process.


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