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Factors influencing the adoption of sericulture by farmers in Guilan Province, Iran

1 Iran Silk Research Center (ISRC), Guilan Province, Rasht, Iran
2 Department of Agricultural Management, Rasht Branch, Islamic Azad University, Rasht, Iran
3 Department of Animal Science, Rasht Branch, Islamic Azad University, Rasht, Iran
4 Southern Regional Extension Forester, Association of Southern Regional Extension, Directors (ASRED) & USDA FS, USA

Sericulture and silk production are among the activities that can, along with other agricultural activities, generate income for rural households in a short period of time. The objective of the present study was to identify factors influencing the adoption of sericulture by farmers in Guilan province, Iran. The sericulture farmers of Langarud and Shaft counties (N = 4187), were included in the statistical population of the study. The sample size was determined to be 198, using the least sample size table of Bartlett et al. (2001) and subsequently, the size of the second group, i.e., non-sericulturists, was specified from these regions. The research tool was a questionnaire whose face and content validity was confirmed by a panel of experts. The reliability of the research tool was evaluated by alpha Cronbach estimated α value to be 0.78. The results revealed that sericulture adoption was significantly related to all demographic characteristics except gender including age, number of dependents, education level, and experience in sericulture as well as technical and economic characteristics including the type of cocoonary ownership, profitability of sericulture given its shorter rearing period compared to other agricultural activities, willingness to rehabilitate coronary, and willingness to attend sericulture and other relevant courses. The studied groups differed significantly in terms of the impact of all supportive policies including the provision of loans and facilities for the rehabilitation and construction of coronaries, the insurance of silkworm rearing, the training and promotion of sericulture and relevant activities, free distribution of improved saplings, distribution of high-yielding silkworm eggs, and the guaranteed purchase of cocoons. The results revealed that all supportive policies played an effective role in the adoption of sericulture. However, free distribution of improved saplings, distribution of high-yield silkworm eggs, and the guaranteed purchase of cocoons were found to the most effective policies in both sericulturist and non-sericulturist groups.
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