Document Type : Original Article


1 Professor, Department of Agricultural Development and Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 PhD Graduate of Agricultural Development, Department of Agricultural Development and Management, Faculty of Agricultural Economics & Development, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University of Khuzestan, Mollasani, Iran

4 Assistant Professor, Payam Noor University, Iran

5 Ph.D. Scholar, Agricultural Development, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


This research was carried out to investigate the role of non-farming activities in the sustainability of peasant farming systems in Osku County by a descriptive-correlational research method. The research population consisted of peasant farmers in Osku County (N =1400), out of whom 300 people were sampled based on Krejcie and Morgan’s table for sample size determination using the proportionate stratified sampling technique. Data were analyzed by SPSS win18 software. The main instrument of data collection was a questionnaire whose validity was confirmed by experts. The reliability of the main scales of the instrument was confirmed by Cronbach's alpha coefficient, which was in the range of 0.82-0.87. The results of analyzing three dimensions of sustainability showed that, in total, 29.3 percent of the farming units were "unsustainable", 41.7 percent were "semi-sustainable", and 28.9 percent were "sustainable". Based on the regression analysis, the variables of the number of people employed in the non-farming sector, the use of non-farming income in the agricultural sector, and household income out of non-farming activities accounted for 54.2 percent of the variations in sustainability level of the peasant farming systems.

Graphical Abstract

The Role of Non-Farming Activities in the Sustainability of Peasant Farming Systems: A Case in Osku County


  • About 29.3% of the peasants farming units were found to be "unsustainable".
  • Sahand Dehestan had the highest sustainability level of the peasant farming system.
  • Extent of family involvement in the non-farming sector is positively correlated with the sustainability of peasant farming units.
  • Access to more income and new opportunities are the main driver of farmers expanding their non-farming activities.
  • Higher economic return from the non-farming sector is the main component of farmer’s activity in the non-farming sector.