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Renewable Energy Use in Smallholder Farming Systems: A Case Study in Tafresh Township of Iran

DOI: 10.3390/su2030702

Keywords: renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, smallholder farming, Tafresh

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Abstract:

This study was conducted to investigate use of renewable energy and materials in smallholder farming system of the Tafresh township of Iran. The population of the study consisted of 2,400 small farmers working in the smallholder farming systems of the area, in which 133 people were selected as sample using Cochran formula and simple random sampling technique. In order to gather the information, a questionnaire was developed for the study and validated by the judgment of the experts in agricultural development and extension. The reliability of the main scales of the questionnaire was examined by Cronbach Alpha coefficients, which ranged from 0.7 to 0.93, indicating the tool of study is reliable. The findings revealed that the majority of the respondents use renewable energy and materials directly in its traditional forms without enabling technologies, and they lack the access to renewable technologies to improve the efficiency of energy use. They preferred fossil energy for many activities due to its lower cost and ease of access. The overall conclusion is that there are potentials and capacities for using renewable energies and materials in the farming systems of the Tafresh township. The government has to support and encourage the adoption of renewable technologies and abandon fossil fuels wherever possible.

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