Document Type : Original Article


1 PhD Student, Industrial Management, Department of Management and Accounting, Rasht Branch, Islamic Azad University, Rasht, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Industrial Management, Department of Management and Accounting, Rasht Branch, Islamic Azad University, Rasht, Iran


Sustainable development is one of the most important issues that can be considered from different aspects and in different contexts including sustainable agriculture. This study aimed to investigate the main strategies related to sustainable development of rice production as an important agricultural product in Guilan Province using a SWOT analysis. To this end, different internal (strengths and weaknesses) and external (opportunities and threats) factors affecting rice production development were reviewed in the literature. Next, a questionnaire was designed based on the potential opportunities, threats, strengths and weaknesses in the literature and the initial interview of the experts; then, the experts were asked to determine the importance of factors on a five-point Likert type scale. The results showed that the rice production received the total scores of 2.14 and 2.24 for the External Factor Evaluation (EFE) matrix and the Internal Factor Evaluation (IFE) matrix, respectively, indicating the ineffectiveness of the industry’s strategies. These scores mapped the position of rice production in Guilan Province. Finally, a number of strategies for sustainable development of rice crop were outlined in order to reduce the weaknesses, avoid the threats, improve the strengths, and grasp the opportunities for the rice production of Guilan Province.


Identifying key internal and external factors underpinning rice production in Guilan Province

Determining optimum strategies to develop rice production using SWOT analysis for the first time in Iran

Introducing some key initiatives to realize sustainable development of rice crop based on the review of literature


Main Subjects

Allahyari, M. S., Chizari, M., & Homaee, M. (2008). Perceptions of Iranian agricultural extension professionals toward sustainable agriculture concepts. Journal of Agriculture and Social Sciences, 4(3), 101-106.
Alonge, A. J., & Martin, R. A. (1995). Assessment of the adoption of sustainable agriculture practices implications for agriculture education. Journal of Agriculture Education, 3(3), 34-42.
Azadi, H., Samari, D., Zarafshani. K., Hosseininia, G. H., & Witlox, F. (2013). Sustainable forest management in Iran: A factor analysis. Sustainable Science, 8, 543-551.
Bosshaq, M. R., Afzalinia, F., & Hedayat, N. (2013). The role of effective factors in sustainable agricultural system-A case study of Minudashat in Iran. International Journal of Agriculture and Crop Sciences, 5, 1-5.
Bower, J. L. (2008). The teaching of strategy: From general manager to analyst and back again. Journal of Management Inquiry, 17 (4), 269-275.
Burke, F., UL Huda, S., Hamza, S., & Azam, M. (2005). Disparities of agricultural productivity in Balochestan (A GIS perspective). Pakistan Geographical Review, 60(1), 27-34.
Chaharsughi Amin, H., & Mirdamadi, M.  (2008). Identify and analyze the factors affecting sustainable agriculture among women farmers in Bandar Anzali city with emphasis on local knowledge of rice cultivation in the area. Journal of Agricultural Knowledge in Iran, 5(1), 61-84. (In Persian)
Daryaee, N., Rezaee Moghaddam, K., & Salmanzadeh, S. (2011). Factors Affecting Sustainable Agricultural Knowledge in Iran: A Case Study of Rice Cultivators in Mazandaran Province. Journal of Village and Development, 14(2), 185-201. (In Persian)
Daryaee, N., Rezaee Moghaddam, K., & Salmanzadeh, S. (2014). Factors Affecting Farmers Attitude towards Sustainable Cultivation of Rice in the Mazandaran province. Journal of Agricultural Extension and Education Research, 7(1), 33-43. (In Persian)
David, F.R. (2007). Strategic Management: Concept and Cases (11th ed.). New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
De Koeijer, T. J., Wossink, G. A. A., Struik, P. C., & Renkema, J. A. (2002). Measuring Agricultural Sustainability in Terms of Efficiency: The Case of Dutch Sugar Beet Growers. Journal of Environmental Management, 66, 9-17.
Dyson, R. G. (2004). Strategic Development and SWOT Analysis at the University of Warwick. European Journal of Operational Research, 152, 63-640.
Essiet, E. U. (2001). Agricultural sustainability under small-holder farming in Kano, northern Nigeria. Journal of Arid Environments, 48, 1-7.
Fakhimi Azar, S., Malek, A., & Naqinezhad, A. (2011). Strategic Study and Compilation Using SWOT Model and Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) (Case Study on Agricultural Organization of East Azerbaijan Province). Strategic Management Studies Journal, 18 (49), 117-95. (In Persian)
Falsolayman, M., & Sadeghi, H. (2013). An Analysis on Capabilities of Agricultural Sector of Southern Khorasan to Have a Sustainable Development Managed by the Application SWOT Model. Geography and Development Iranian Journal, 11(30), 139-156. (In Persian)
FAO. (2013). Rice market monitor (monitor (Report), XVI (4), Trade and Markets Division. Retrieved from rmm/en/
Ghorbani, A., Valiollah, R., Rafiaani. P., & Azadi, H. (2015). Ecotourism sustainable development strategies using SWOT and QSPM model: A case study of Kaji Namakzar Wetland, South Khorasan province, Iran. Tourism Management Perspectives, 16, 290-297.
Goodland, R. (1995). The concepts of environmental sustainability. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 26, 1-24.
Gupta, A. (1998). Ecology and Development in the Third World, Second Edition. London: Routledge.
Hansen, J. W. (1996). Is Agricultural Sustainability a Useful Concept? Agricultural Systems. 50(1), 117-143.
Houben, G., Lenie, K., &Vanhoof, K. (1999). A knowledge-based SWOT-analysis system as an instrument for strategic planning in small and medium sized enterprises. Decision Support Systems, 26, 125-135.
Ikerd, J., Devino, G., & Traiyongwanich, S. (1996). Evaluating the sustainability of alternative farming systems: A case study. American Journal of Alternative Agriculture, 11(1), 25-29.
Iran’s Agricultural Statistics. (2013). Comprehensive Agricultural Information. Tehran: Ministry of Agriculture, Planning and Economic Department, Information and Communication Technology Center, Iran. Retrieved from
Javanmard, M., & Mahmoudi, M. (2008).  A SWOT Analysis of Organic Dried Fig Production in Iran. Environmental Sciences, 6(1), 101-110.
Kajanus, M., Kangas, J., & Kurttila, M. (2004). The Use of Value Focused Thinking and the A’WOT Hybrid Method in Tourism Management. Tourism Management, 25, 499-506.
Kangas, J., Kurtila, M., Kajanus, M., & Kangas, A. (2003). Evaluating the management strategies of a forestland estate-the S-O-S approach. Journal of Environmental Management, 69, 349-358.
Khalili, H., Azizi, M., Cherati, A. & Bahadori, M. (2009). The Effect of Nitroxin Biological Fertilizer on Growth and Yield of Hybrid Rice in Spring1. Rice Product Research Institute, Agricultural Promotion, Education and Research Organization of Ministry of Agriculture. Accessible:
Kurttila, M., Pesonen, M., Kangas, J., & Kajanus, M. (2000). Utilizing the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) in SWOT Analysis-a Hybrid Method and Its Application to a Forest-certification Case. Forest Policy and Economics, 1, 41-52.
MacRae, R. J., Hill, S. B., Mehuys, G. R., & Henning, J. (1990). Farm-Scale Agronomic and Economic Conversion from Conventional to Sustainable Agriculture. Advances in Agronomy, 43, 155-198.
Masozera, M. K., Alavalapati, J. R. R., Jacobson, S. K., & Shresta, R. K. (2006). Assessing the suitability of community-based management for the Nyungwe Forest Reserve, Rwanda. Forest Policy and Economics, 8, 206-216.
Nick Nezhad, D. (2008). Contamination of Soil and Water Resources with an Emphasis on Sustainable Agriculture. Paper presented at Second Conference of Environmental Engineering, Tehran,17-21 May, 2008.
Ommani, A. R. (2011). Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis for farming system businesses management: Case of wheat farmers of Shadervan District, Shoushtar Township, Iran. African Journal of Business Management, 5(22), 9448-9454.
Ommani, A. R., Chizari, M., Salmanzadeh, C., & Hossaini, J. F. (2009). Predicting Adoption Behavior of Farmers Regarding On-Farm Sustainable Water Resources Management (SWRM): Comparison of Models. Journal of Sustainable Agriculture, 33(5), 595-616.
Pearce, J. A., & Robinson, R. B. (2003). Strategic Management: Formulation, Implementation, and Control. New York: McGraw Hill.
Pourzand, F., & Bakhshoodeh, M. (2014). Technical efficiency and agricultural sustainability-technology gap of maize producers in Fars province of Iran. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 16(3), 671-688.
Reihanian, A., Binti Mahmooda, N. Z., Kahromb, E., & Hin T. W. (2012).Sustainable tourism development strategy by SWOT analysis: Boujagh National Park, Iran. Tourism Management Perspectives, 4, 223-228.
Sadati, S. A., Shaabanali Fami, H., Asadi, A., & Sadati, S. A. (2010). Farmer’s Attitude on Sustainable Agriculture and its Determinants: A Case Study in Behbahan County of Iran. Research Journal of Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology, 2(5), 422-427.
Sadeghi, T., Taleb Beydokhti, A., & Sedaghat, R. (2011). Codification of Advertisement Strategies in Coherence with the Export of Pistachio in Kerman province by SWOT Model. Agricultural Economics, 5(1), 123-142. (In Persian)
Saifi, B., & Drake, L. (2008). A co-evolutionary model for promoting agricultural sustainability. Ecological Economics, 65(1), 24-34.
Shiri, N., Hashemi, S.M.K., Asadi, A., & Motamedinia, Z. (2012). Agricultural Researchers' Attitudes toward Sustainable Agriculture and its Determinants in ILAM province, Iran. International Journal of Agricultural Science and Research, 3(1), 17-30.
Shrestha, R.K., Alavalapati, J.R.R., & Kalmbacher, R.S. (2004). Exploring the Potential for Silvopasture Adoption in South-central Florida: An Application of SWOT-AHP Method. Agricultural Systems, 81, 185-199.
Singh, J., & Dhillon, S.S. (2004). Agricultural Geography (3rd ed.). New Delhi, India: Tata McGraw-Hill.
Sojasi Gheidari, H., Palouj, M., Roknadin Eftekhari, A., & Sadeghlou, T. (2011). Using multi criteria decision analysis methods (MCDM) and SWOT in presentation the strategies of agricultural entrepreneurship in rural area. Agricultural Economic and Development, 19(74), 149-180. (In Persian)
Soubbotina, T.P. (2004). Beyond Economic Growth, Second Edition: An Introduction to sustainable Development. Washington, D.C., the World Bank.
Statistical Yearbook of Guilan Province. (2013). Guilan: Management and Planning Organization in Guilan Province, Iran.
Taghdisi, A., & Bosshaq, M. R. (2012). Analysis and Evaluation of Agricultural Sustainability in Rural Areas and the Role of Farmers (Case Study: Rural areas of AZNA city). Geography (Research and Science Journal of Geographical Society of Iran)10 (33), 12-147. (In Persian)
Tanguay, G. A., Rajaonson, J., Lefebvre, J. F., & Lanoie, P. (2010). Measuring the sustainability of cities: An analysis of the use of local indicators.
Journal of Ecological Indicators, 10, 407-418.
Tatlidil, F. F., Boz, I., Tatlidil, H. (2009). Farmers’ perception of sustainable agriculture and its determinants: A case study in Kahramanmaras Province of Turkey. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 11, 1091-1106.
Taylor, j. (2002). Sustainable Development a Dubious Solution in Search of a Problem. Policy Analysis, 449, 1-49.
Vali Poor, S., Akbari, M. R., & Zaker Haghighi, K. (2013).Strategic planning for Urban Agriculture Development by SWOT (Case Study: Dogonbadan city of GACHSARAN). Urban Management, 5(15), 45-57. (In Persian)
WCED (World Commission on Environment and Development). (1987). Our Common Future. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Yuksel, I., & Dagdeviren, M. (2007). Using the analytic network process (ANP) in a SWOT analysis-A case study for a textile firm. Information Sciences, 177(16), 3364-3382.
Zahedi, S. A., & Najafi, G. (2006). Management of Sustainable Agricultural Development. Journal of Management Studies, 50, 3-18. (In Persian)