ECONOMIC JUSTIFICATION OF PRODUCING MEDICINAL PLANTS: A CASE OF RURAL ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATIONAbbas Tarhanni, Hamid Jafari and Mohamadali Ahmadiyan
The purpose of this research was two fold: First, to examine the economic justification of the production of medicinal plants compared with that of the traditional agricultural products, in terms of revenue generation and employment creation, in the municipality of Qouchan, in the province of Razavi Khorasan, Iran; Second, if so, to investigate the effect of governmental support in enticing farmers to grow medicinal plants. The statistical population in this research consisted of 2658 households residing in 133 villages in the municipality of Qouchan. The size of the statistical sample was determined by using a two-step cluster sampling and applying the Krejcie and Morgan method the result of which was the random selection of 336 heads of the households residing in 13 villages. The first two of the three hypotheses were analyzed by using mathematical computations. The third hypothesis was analyzed by using the Pearsons correlation coefficient test. The research methodology in this study is descriptive-inferential-survey of the correlation type. This research shows that medicinal plants compared to the traditional agricultural products perform much better. The research also shows that the governmental support increases the number of those who will produce medicinal plants.
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