عنوان مقاله [English]
Gonabad township in the Khorasan Razavi province is one of the largest saffron producers in Iran. Unfortunately, the yield of saffron farms in Gonabad has decreased drastically in recent years. Evidence and the opinions of agricultural engineers suggest that high-density planting can be considered as one of the main reasons of yield decrease. With high-density planting, the operation period of saffron farms will start sooner. However, it will decrease the length of operation period tremendously. Furthermore, the farm will not be suitable for saffron cultivation for a long time. Therefore, the present study was conducted with the aim of investigating the effect of high-density planting on yield of saffron farms and determining the socio-economic factors affecting unsustainable system of high-density planting. Data of the first 6-years of farms (2011-2016) were collected and in order to analyze the data, a two-stage Heckman model which include a Probit model and a linear regression model was used. Our study findings show that farmers' age, awareness towards factors that reduce yield of saffron farms, and attending training courses are three factors that have a negative and significant impact on planting density. In other words, these three factors could prevent planting of saffron in high density. Farmers' income and their level of education are two factors which are considered to have a positive and significant impact on planting density. Finally, crop insurance does not have a significant impact in either one of the two models. Therefore, we strongly recommend that farmers should be warned of factors that cause yield decreases throughout training courses. Also, we recommend using of the experience of old and experienced farmers in order to prevent planting saffron in high densities.
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