Document Type : Original Article


1 MSc Graduate of Rural Development, University of Zanjan, Iran

2 Professor, Department of Agricultural Management and Development, Faculty of Agricultural Economics and Development, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

3 Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Extension, Communication and Rural Development, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zanjan, Zanjan, Iran


The main purpose of this survey was to assess biomass production and use as a source of energy by smallholders in Tafresh County located in Markazi Province, Iran. A descriptive survey method was used for data collection. The statistical population consisted of 2,470 smallholders. A sample size of 300 was selected by using the stratified random sampling technique. A questionnaire was used to collect the data. A panel of experts confirmed the validity of the questionnaire. A pilot study was conducted to establish the reliability of the instrument. The Cronbach alpha's coefficient was higher than 0.75 for the main scales of the questionnaire. The results showed that the residues of plants and animals are recognized as a potential source of renewable energy, but there exists no specific policy or technical instruction for their optimal use, particularly in organizations such as Agriculture Jihad. Therefore, many farmers burn a considerable amount of firewood without being aware of its potential use. Findings revealed that “diversification of productive activities” had the greatest influence on the use of biomass energy, and the variables “annual cost of gas at home” and “animal farming experience” were ranked the 2nd and 3rd most important factors influencing the dependent variable, respectively.

Graphical Abstract

Factors Affecting Biomass Energy Utilization by Small Holder Farmers in Iran


  • Lack of suitable training program regarding the use of energy in the agriculture sector;
  • Low awareness of farmers of renewable sources of energy such as biomass and policies regarding;
  • Lack of specific policy or technical instruction for optimal use of residues of plants and animals, particularly in organizations such as Jihad-e Keshavarzi;
  • A positive relationship between annual spending power statuses of livestock; buy firewood and oil with the conventional use of biomass energy;


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