1Young Researchers Club, Abhar Branch, Islamic Azad University, Abhar, Iran
2Assistant Professor, Department of Arid Regions Management, Gorgan University of Agricultural Science and Natural Resources, Golestan, Iran
3Professor, Department of Arid Regions Management, Gorgan University of Agricultural Science and Natural Resources, Golestan, Iran
4Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Gorgan University of Agricultural Science and Natural Resources, Golestan, Iran
5Associate Professor, Department of the Environment, Gorgan University of Agricultural Science and Natural Resources, Golestan, Iran
The socio-economic factors affecting land use changes in the Maraveh Tappeh region was determined from the viewpoint of beneficiaries and experts. The items of questionnaires designed as rating scale based on the five options Likert. Reliability of questionnaires was determined by Cronbach's alpha. Two sets of questionnaires were designed for beneficiaries and experts. Reliability of beneficiaries and experts questionnaires obtained 0.75 and 0.80, respectively. A total of 310 beneficiaries and 42 experts responded to the questionnaires. Mann-Whitney non-parametric test was used to compare the mean between the experts and beneficiaries. The reality amount of significant difference was obtained from the effect size. Rating average was used for each item and its priority. In ten items, significant difference at the 0.01 level between the viewpoints of beneficiaries and experts was observed. The high cost of living, low income of rural families and unemployment in rural areas were the top three priorities from the viewpoint of beneficiaries. The low income of rural household, the high cost of living and increasing the price of farmland were the most effective factors from the viewpoint of experts. Economic factors were the key priorities of land use change in viewpoint of both beneficiaries and experts, indicating that experts had the necessary experience and understanding of beneficiaries’ condition and were positive and important notes for policy making and management issues.
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