Document Type : Research and Full Length Article
PhD candidate, Rangeland Science, Faculty of Rangeland and Watershed management, Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources
Faculty of Rangeland and Watershed management - Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources
Faculty of Fisheries and Wildlife- Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources
Department of Agricultural Extension and Education - Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources
FAO and World Bank promote livestock rearing as a way of poverty alleviation and food security especially among rural poor. Villagers are usually involved in mixed crop-livestock farming. Interviews with villagers in the HableRud basin revealed that some changes have happened and comparing with past decades, fewer villagers keep livestock. They believed that number of villagers who kept livestock in pen has also drastically increased. This study was conducted to understand if natural capital holdings have any impact on villagers' dependence on rangeland or not and also to identify the important natural capitals contributing to villagers' dependency on rangeland, some unstructured and structured interviews with local people were conducted. Comparisons between the two groups of villagers namely, dependent and independent on rangeland in terms of the identified indicators, the independent samples T-test and Mann Whitney U were applied for parametric and nonparametric data, respectively. Then in order to predict likelihood of dependency of a villager on rangeland based on holding of or access to independent variables, binary logistic regression was applied using SPSS. Descriptive data analysis showed that just 177 villagers out of 380 samples were dependent on rangeland and the rest did not rely on rangeland at all. The results revealed that there was a significant difference between the two groups of dependent and independent villagers on rangelands in terms of grazing right, size of farm and orchard holding, number of small livestock, total livestock and total natural capital. But the best indicators to predict a villager's dependence on rangeland was decided to be grazing right, number of small livestock and size of farm. The study revealed that independent variables predict the odds (61% - 82%) that a villager will decide to keep livestock dependent on rangeland.