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Climate Changes and the Role of Recent Droughts on Agricultural Economy of Sistan

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Author(s): ISSA EBRAHIMZADEH | MORTEZA ESMAELNEJAD

Journal: Romanian Review of Regional Studies
ISSN 1841-1576

Volume: IX;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 11;
Date: 2013;
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Keywords: Climate change | Drought | Agricultural economy | Sistan | Iran

ABSTRACT
Regional economy is usually affected by the operation and interaction of environment and human beings in geographical spaces. Warm and dry areas create special economic conditions, which have particular functions, quite different from the characteristics of humid and cold hilly areas or those of the Mediterranean areas. The Sistan Region is located in South East of Iran. Until recent droughts (1999-2005), agriculture sector was the basis of all economic activities in Sistan area, a major share of rural as well as urban income came directly and indirectly from agricultural activities. In accordance with the latest census before the drought period (1996), about 55 percent of the rural population directly depended on the agriculture sector for their income and employment. In addition, almost 24 percent of rural population was depended to cottage and rural industries for their employments. In urban areas, 70 percent of population was linked to service sector as a source of employment. The results of this research show that the environmental changes resulting from drought in Sistan area have had deep impacts on the socio-economic factors in the region. It is clearer in the Hamoon Lake area, which, before the onset drought, had produced crops like fodders, mat, bird meat and fish. The livestock sector also suffered to a great extent. Out of the total of 1.6 million livestock units in the area, more than 0.5 million remained in the production cycle nowadays. The production of these crops reduced to zero with drought. The total direct loss resulted from the drought amounts to 14,057,332 million Rails or 1,561 billion US$. To sum up, the environmental changes resulting from drought caused more than 80 percent of agricultural and livestock activities in the region come to halt, which, in turn, due to a reduced income multiplier effect of agriculture sector resulted in greater damage to socio-economic factors in rural, as well as in urban areas.
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