Understanding differences between various geographical areas in terms of development level is an inevitable necessity. In this regard,development indicators in agriculture and livestock sectors are particularly important. Hence, this study aims to use the abovementioned indicators to demonstrate Iran’s development situation in terms of townships of Isfahan Province.
Using numerical taxonomy, the study exhibits the distribution of 41 development indicators in agriculture and livestock sectors among Isfahan Province townships, and determines the contribution of each indicator to and its impact on the development.
Results show that Isfahan townships vary in terms of development level. Khomeinishahr Township is ranked first, both in terms of total development indicators and in terms of indicators of each one of agriculture and livestock sectors. Based on the grading used in the study, Isfahan Province townships are categorized in four categories in terms of general development indicators, namely developed, relatively developed, underdeveloped and undeveloped. In addition, townships are graded in terms of agriculture and livestock development indicators.
Numerical Taxonomy, Indicator, Development, Agriculture, Isfahan Province Townships
In understanding underdevelopment and determining developed geographical areas, a special attention should be paid to understanding strengths and potentials of various geographical areas through exploring development indicators and comparing their values for various areas and finally testing whether or not a specific region is developed.
A major issue with which all countries deal is development. Given the quick growth and expansion of modern technologies and the welfare resulting from it, development issue has experienced a lot of change. Development is a complex, multidimensional phenomenon that requires fundamental changes in social construct, attitudes of both people and national institutions, acceleration of economic growth, decreasing inequalities and removing poverty (Asayesh, 1997, 2003).
It should be noted that understanding actual indicators of sustainable development and devising appropriate development strategies is becoming increasingly critical. Development is only real and valuable if it improves lives of all people especially the majority poor. In this regard, development of agriculture and livestock sectors is of a particular importance. Therefore, understanding differences between various geographical areas in terms of development level is an inevitable necessity. In addition, balancing the spatial distribution of resources and services in towns is the main goal of urban planners (Razavian and Poudineh, 2007). In this regard, many studies have been conducted to statistically rank various regions using a variety of social and economic indicators. As for agriculture and livestock sectors, we can point out following studies.
Bhatia and Rai (2004) used factor analysis and numerical taxonomy with 23 indicators to determine development level of 380 blocks in 32 regions of India in 2001.based on their findings, 56, 156, 116 and 52 blocks were developed, relatively developed, underdeveloped and undeveloped, respectively.
Joae et al. (2001) suggested a method to categorize various regions of Belgium to support regional development policy. Their method used multivariable statistical techniques, namely factor analysis and cluster analysis, with 33 indicators in various fields such as economy, health, education and culture. Their findings confirmed the accuracy of ranking in terms of development level.
Dalvand (2005) used factor analysis and taxonomy to rank townships of Lorestan Province, Iran, in 1994 and 2003. His findings show that inequality between regions had been increased in that period of time.
Taghvayi and Rezayi (2004) used numerical taxonomy to determine development level of rural areas of Ilam Province, Iran. They found out that the most developed rural area was in Shirwan Chardaval County, followed by Ilam, Dareh-shahr, Dehloran, Mehran, Ivan and Abdanan counties.
Based on this, the current study aims to evaluate development level agriculture and livestock sectors of various geographical areas of Isfahan Province using numerical taxonomy method. As the most important measure in the hands of executive managers, evaluation of development level in agriculture and livestock sectors of geographical areas of Isfahan Province may have very important implications for balanced development of various geographical areas.
As already seen, our results from analyzing the data show there are gaps between Isfahan townships in terms of average development indicators. Filling the gap can be a mid-term or long term goal for provincial planners. In order to achieve this goal through allocating adequate budget to improve development level and ultimately eliminate deprivation, we need to know and understand deficits in indicators pertaining to undeveloped and underdeveloped townships. Evidently, knowing the deficits, allocated budgets should be determined based on deficits. Managers and planners who get to allocate budget should take this burden. We suggest that relevant authorities should pay attention to these deficits and more carefully allocate township budgets in order to further advance development, eliminate deprivation and remove deficits. In addition, data analysis shows that some townships of Isfahan Province have relative advantages in terms of some development indicators. This can explain and clarify advantages, potentials and capabilities of each and every township which can help prepare proper grounds for growth, development and prosperity. Therefore, two points are worth mentioning: First, authorities should pave the way to take a better advantage of such indicators in deprived and underdeveloped townships. In fact, provincial officials should take properly defined strategies to motivate various actors to work more effectively in deprived townships. As a result of such activities, deprived townships can finally prosper. Second and more importantly, carefully directing various productive factors toward those townships which have a relative advantage in agriculture and livestock sectors helped those townships rank much better in terms of development. As a matter fact, while paying attention to providing factors that meet basic needs of deprived townships, authorities should also take care of townships’ differences and director each different actor toward a proper township of each group that can ensure the success of its activities. In this way, townships will become more powerful, paving the way for a full-fledged development in the province Acknowledgement Authors feel obliged to offer their gratitude to Research Deputy of Azad Islamic University of Meymeh which helped carry out “Position of Isfahan Province Townships in Terms of Development” research program and this recent study
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