Environment, Development and Sustainability

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 407–426 | Cite as

A multiple criteria evaluation of sustainable agricultural development models using AHP

Original Paper


Selection of the appropriate agricultural development model has become an important issue in Iran. Using data from Fars province of Iran, the purpose of this paper is to use analytic hierarchy process (AHP) for selecting between the two competing sustainable agricultural development models, which have been developed based on the general tenets of Ecological Modernization (EM) and De-Modernization (DM) theories. Farmers, environmentalists, board members of rural cooperative, rural women and experts from Fars Agricultural (Jehad-e-Keshavarzi) Organization participated in application of AHP to this study. They applied AHP to determine the priority of DM and EM based sustainable agricultural development models. Each group determined the priority of the two models for sustainable agricultural development. The findings indicated that ecological criteria i.e. wise use of resources, environmental protection and product quality are the most important criteria for sustainable agriculture of Iran, followed by economic criterion employment and social criterion participation. A sensitivity analysis was carried out to determine the critical factors that affected the priority of alternatives. The results indicated that EM-based sustainable agricultural development model has a higher priority as the theoretical base of agricultural development of Iran.


AHP De-Modernization Ecological Modernization Iran Sustainable agricultural development model 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Extension, College of AgricultureShiraz UniversityShirazIran

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