epistemological standpoint; the adopted approach for planning and development
of rural cooperatives was positivism which has led to assume rural business as
a component of the natural environment.
Adopting such a
simplistic approach has resulted in taking the territorial division and rural
zoning as a basis for national rural planning. Currently, the tradition of
territorial-oriented planning has been dominated by the planning of rural
Consequently, this form
of planning, neglects the gradual disposition of rural settlements in and out,
could provide no vision for state investment in development project including
dam construction, vast irrigation systems, superhighways, development of
metropolises and new rural residents in the downstream lands of dams, railways,
emerging markets, and tourism. Furthermore, it is not capable enough to address
the institutionalized insecurity, cross borders, and regional transformations,
geopolitical issues, circulation of people, goods, information, and innovations
as well as access to rare resources.
Although these parameters strongly influence
the rural spatial development and surveys; but they have been overlooked due to
the huge domination of positivism in the field of national rural planning. Even
though, recently measures of the two late states in turning several villages to
the townships, this important notion has been neglected. The circulation and
interaction of all of the agents, including individuals, goods, money,
information, technologies, and materials as well as rural-urban linkages were
the lost components of the rural areas.
believe that national planning, in general, and rural cooperative planning in
particular, should be done based on the rural zoning which categorized rural
areas by spatial transformation rather than natural criteria including watershed
zones. Territorial-oriented zoning is no longer inspiring. In the developed
countries, rural zoning is done by observing the structural and functional
transformation, since the development trend of each rural district differs and
does not follow a single variable called natural environment.
rural areas are not traditionally integrated as 50 years ago. For instance, the
villages neighboring metropolises are thoroughly different from those
neighboring with the agricultural zone. Also, they are completely different
from the villages which are under the influence of free trade zones. Villages
affected by free zone trade are different from villages adjacent to the
agro-industrial zone. Furthermore, the borderline villages are influenced by
formal and informal transactions and geostrategic specifications. Also,
neighboring of many villages with the urban areas has functionally turned them as
a dormitory or leisure zones for cities. The villages around Sarein in Ardebil
province, the villages around Tehran province, as well as Torghabeh and Shandiz
around Mashhad, could be named dormitory villages which absorb the spillover
population of the before mentioned metropolises.
In my attitude,
the temporal-spatial dimensions of rural settlements have been facing with five
1. Huge land-use changes, triggered by the vast
invasion of urbanism which has resulted in imperceptible degradation of
mountains, forests, and coastal lands
2. Transition to modernity, the formation of
the individuality of the peasants due to freedom from the social constraints
3. Spatial segregation resulted from the
division of labor, power relations, social stratification, occupational
opportunities, eco-tourism, agro-tourism and, cultural tourism. Furthermore,
spatial segregation could be impressed by cropping pattern changes,
commercialized cropping, incentive cropping and enhancement of the rural income
because of diversification of income sources.
4. The role of the state in the
transformation of the rural habitats in the two major phases; first, after the
land reformation era and second after the Islamic revolution, associating with
the injection of the petroleum money in the rural areas.
5. Expansion of the industrial-agricultural
chain, locate inevitably rural settlements in the industrial zones which bring
about new streams of raw materials, money, knowledge, machinery and resulted in
pendulum immigration and slumming.
It is worth
mentioning that, direct and objective state interventions by the development of
agro-joint stock companies, rural production cooperatives, greenhouses,
technological changes in the irrigation system along with the gradual movement of villages toward the main roads for enjoying infrastructural
services, has structurally changed them during the past half-century.
historical position, the rural areas introduce differentiated potentials and
represent diversified functions with no generalizability, yet they face
differentiated challenges and problems, too.
would not succeed to act effectively by adopting a mono facet national plan
which is based on mere natural criteria. Even though, CORC is going to develop
a new generation of cooperative to be resilient enough for facing systematic
and unsystematic challenges. It sounds natural that the cooperative developed
based on the positivism planning lack of resiliency and would be doomed to
potential functions of rural cooperatives as well as the complexity of human,
economy and culture development issues, it seems by inclusion of "spatial
issue" in the literature of rural development, CORC would be able to
promote cooperatives to a social and civilized organ, which are powerful enough
to resolve many problems of the rural communities through adopting a
The very high
proportion of small scale farmers causes irregularity in the management process
of human resources and economy, therefore the importance of "spatial
–oriented" approach reflects a fundamental basis for rural planning.
[i] Deputy minister of Jahad-Agriculture and
CEO of CORC