Factor analysis of agricultural mechanization challenges in Iran
Keywords:Agricultural mechanization, Challenge, Factor analysis, questionnaire.
A descriptive survey research was undertaken in order to assess challenges facing agricultural mechanization development in Iran. The research population included agricultural mechanization experts, managers and specialists in private and governmental sections. Using proportional stratified sampling, a sample of 119 was constituted out of a total population of 809 based on the Cochran formula. Data were collected using questionnaire on which the statements were collected after literature review of research and interviews with mechanization specialists. The questionnaire was validated by a panel of experts and its reliability index was established by a Cronbach’s coefficient. A pilot study was conducted with 30 questionnaires (not included in the sample population) to determine the reliability of the questionnaire. Computed Cronbach’s alpha score was 75%, which indicated that the questionnaire was highly reliable. All survey data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS 16.0). The results of factor analysis indicated that 69% of the variances of the challenges could be classified in seven groups, namely: programming, technical, infrastructural, managerial, economical, research and extension, and content area. From each group the most important challenges facing agricultural mechanization development in Iran include: inefficiency of subside payment methods for buying agricultural machinery, large number of time-worn agricultural machinery, incomplete collection of agricultural equipments for power generator machinery (tractor), slow trend of beneficiaries in accepting new technologies, financial weakness of agricultural beneficiaries, inefficiency of agricultural extension and education methods, and weakness of agricultural machinery producers and operators in protecting their guild benefits.
Keywords: agricultural mechanization, challenge, extension, factor analysis, Iran