Authors

1 Department of Horticulture, Rasht Branch, Islamic Azad University, Rasht, Iran

2 Department of Agricultural Management, Rasht Branch, Islamic Azad University, Rasht, Iran

3 Young Researchers and Elites Club, Rasht Branch, Islamic Azad University

Abstract

In recent years, agriculture has become the prime polluter of natural resources. It is therefore essential to make assessments based on reliable indicators to ensure that an agricultural system remains not only productive, but also ecologically sound. A large area of arable land in Guilan province is devoted to rice cultivation so the transition to environmentally sound agricultural practice in paddy fields of the province is an important strategy. The main purpose of this study was to present a new and comprehensive framework for assessing environmentally sound agricultural practice applicable to the paddy fields in Guilan Province. A review of the relevant literature identified environmentally sound indicators that had been used by researchers in recent years. Then some parameters were introduced for examination and prioritization. The proposed structural model includes seven factors and 21 indicators. The target population included university faculty members and researchers who were familiar with the concepts of agricultural sustainability and that were familiar with the Guilan paddy fields. A structural on-line questionnaire was the main instrument used to gather information. Based on experts’ points of view, the coefficient of significance for each of the selected indicators was measured using the Yager fuzzy screening method. The results obtained from structured questionnaires showed that 20 of the 21 indicators were appropriate for assessing environmentally sustainable agriculture.

Keywords

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