Designing a Food Security Pattern for Rural Households in Ilam Province of Iran: Application of Grounded Theory

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Professor, Islamic Azad University, Ilam Branch, Ilam, Iran.

2 PhD Student in Agricultural Extension and Education, Islamic Azad University, Ilam Branch, Ilam, Iran.


The main purpose of this study was to identify and develop a model for food security of rural households by applying the grounded theory approach. It was an applied research in terms of the objective and a mixed exploratory study in terms of data collection method. The participants consisted of all the experts familiar with food security issues (including nutrition, health, agricultural extension and education, and food and medicine experts as well as the typical farmers and experts of Agriculture-Jahad Organization of Ilam province). The purposeful and snowball sampling methods were used to select 18 experts of the participants, based on theoretical saturation criterion. The data were analyzed through the three stages of open, axial and selective coding.Findings revealed that the studied model consisted of6 categories, 16 sub-categories and 62 concepts, including:causal conditions (health and environmental threats), contextual factors (household food patterns, socio-cultural conditions), axial category (existence of enough food, food availability, food intake stability, established food health), strategies (supply healthy food with proper consumption pattern, crisis management, sustainable agricultural development, increasing educational and support services), environmental interventions (welfare and economic support, management support and programming, educational and health support) and outcomes (stopping the decline and improving the health and nutrition of rural consumers). The results of coding stages and analyses with a qualitative approach in the whole theory led to the model design. Finally, the conceptual model and components of the model were presented along with the related components and indicators.


Main Subjects

  1. Abolhassani, M.H., Kolahdooz, F., Majdzadeh, R., Eshraghian, M., Shaneshin, M., Jang, S.L. and Jazayeri, A. (2015). Identification and prioritization of food insecurity and vulnerability indices in Iran. Iranian Journal of Public Health, 44(2): 244-253. (Persian)
  2. Akbarpour, M., Mahdavi Damghani, A., Deihimifard, R. and Veisi, H. (2016). Assessment of the food security status in Marvdash County. Journal of Ecology, 6(1): 1-10. (persian)
  3. Alimoradi, Z., Kazemi, F., Mirmiran, P. and Estaki, T. (2015). Household food security in Iran: systematic review of Iranian articles. Advances in Nursing and Midwifery, 24(87): 63-76.
  4. Asgharian, A., Karami, E. and Keshavarz, M. (2013). Determinants of rural food security. Journal of Agricultural Economics, 7(1): 87-97. (Persian)
  5. Baniasadi, M. and Zare-Mehrjerdi, M. (2015). Growth of industrial sector and air pollution in economy of Iran during 1986-2011. Journal of Environmental Research, 6(12): 25-38. (Persian)
  6. Bashir, M.K., Schilizzi, S. and Pandit, R. (2012). The determinants of rural household food security in the Punjab, Pakistan: an econometric analysis. Working Paper, School of Agricultural and Resource Economics. The University of Western Australia.
  7. Cheraghi, M., Yeganeh, B. and Eskandari Shahraki, Z. (2018). Analysis of geographic factors affecting the food security of rural households, case study: Zanjan County. Journal of Geographical Engineering of Territory, 2(3): 47-58. (Persian)
  8. Creswell, J.W. and Miller, D.L. (2000). Determining validity in qualitative inquiry. Theory into Practice, 39(3): 124-130. DOI: 10.1207/s15430421tip3903_2.
  9. Danaeifard, H. and Emami, S.M. (2007). Strategies of qualitative research: a reflection on grounded theory. Strategic Management Thought, 1(2): 69-97. (Persian)
  10. Farhangi, A.A., Karoubi, M. and Sadeghvaziri, F. (2015). Classic grounded theory; description of generating gravity center of iranian health tourism brand identity theory. Journal of Business Management, 7(1): 145-162. DOI: 10.22059/JIBM.2015.52324. (Persian)
  11. Ghaffarian, M., Salehi, A. and Bashari, N. (2016). Climate change; preservation of production resources to support food security. Paper Presented at the Ihird National Crisis Management Conference and HSE in Vital Arteries, Industry and Urban Management, May 16-17, 2016, University of Tehran, Tehran. (Persian)
  12. Haghgouyan, Z., Zarei Matin, H., Jandaghi, G. and Rahmati, M.H. (2015). Understanding of vigor process by grounded theory. Organizational Behavior Studies Quarterly, 4(2): 119-141. (Persian)
  13. Hammond, R.A. and Dubé L. (2012). A systems science perspective and transdisciplinary models for food and nutrition security. Paper Presented at the National Academy of Sciences, 23 July, 2012, USA.
  14. Hashemitabar, M., Akbari, A. and Darini, M. (2018). Analysis of factors affecting food security in rural areas of south of Kerman province. Journal of Space Economy and Rural Development, 7(2): 1-18. (Persian)
  15. Holyoke, P. and Stephenson, B. (2017). Organization-level principles and practices to support spiritual care at the end of life: a qualitative study. BMC Palliat Care, 16(1): 24-35. DOI: 10.1186/s12904-017-0197-9.
  16. Ibrahim, H., Bello, M. and Ibrahim, H. (2009). Food security and resource allocation among farming households in north central Nigeria. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition, 8(8): 1235-1239. DOI: 10.3923/pjn.2009.1235.1239.
  17. Jamini, A., Amini, A., Qader-Marzi, H. and Tavakoli, J. (2017). Food security and its implications on rural areas. Geographical Planning of Space Quaryerly Journal, 7(24): 113-130. (Persian)
  18. Khalaj, S. and Yousefi, A. (2015). Mapping the incidence and intensity of multidimensional poverty in Iran urban and rural areas. The Journal of Spatial Planning, 18(4): 49-70. (Persian)
  19. Lawrence, M., Gold, L., Frie, S. and Pegram, O. (2015). Food insecurity in Australia: implications for general practitioners. AFE Mental Illness, 44(11): 864-869.
  20. Mehrabi, H. and Owhadi, A. (2014). Investigation of effective factors on food security in Iran. Journal of Agricultural Economics, 8(Special Issue): 111-121. (Persian)
  21. Nord, M., Coleman-Jensen, A., Andrews, M. and Carlson, S. (2010). Household food security in the United States, 2009 (108).Available at
  22. Ojeleye, O.A., Adebisi, O.A. and Fadiji, T.O. (2014). Assessment of farm household food security and consumption indices in Nigeria. Asian Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development, 4(9): 1-7.
  23. Pakravan, M.R., Hosseini, S., Salami, H. and Yazdani, S. (2015). Identifying effective factors on food security of Iranian rural and urban households. Iranian Journal of Agricultural Economics and Development Resrach, 46(3): 395-408. DOI: 10.22059/IJAEDR.2015.55514. (Persian)
  24. Pelletier, D. (2015). Food and nutrition policy: a biological anthropologist's experiences from an academic platform. American Journal of Human Biology, 27(1): 16-26. DOI: 10.1002/ajhb.22523.
  25. Rahimi Fayzabad, F., Yazdanpanah, M., Forouzani, M., Mohammadzadeh, S. and Berton, R. (2017). Explanation of farmers' water conservation behaviors using extended planned behavior theory: the case of farmers in Aleshtar County. Iranian Agricultural Extension and Education, 12(2): 1-17. (Persian)
  26. Rahman-Seresht, H., Hasas Yeganeh, Y., Fallah Shams, M. and Irandoost, M. (2014). A strategic model of in-crisis firms’ turn-around process. Journal of Business Management, 6(3): 497-516. DOI: 10.22059/JIBM.2014.50731. (Persian)
  27. Rezaei, S. (2018). Designing a revenue model for Iranian football clubs with grounded theory approach. Applied Resrach of Sport Management, 8(23): 101-116. (Persian)
  28. Saadi, H. and Vahdat-Moadab, H. (2013). Assessment of female-headed household’s food security and the affecting factors, case study: women in Razan County. Women in Development and Politics, 11(3): 411-426. DOI: 10.22059/JWDP.2013.36536. (Persian)
  29. Safaei, B., Mosleh Shirazi, A., Mohammadi, A. and Alimohammadlou, M. (2018). Descriptive explanation of the process of commercial soft technology diffusion in Iran's oil industry: using grounded theory. Development Management Process, 31(2): 27-63.
  30. Safarpour, M., Hosseini, S.M., Ranjbar Noshari, F., Safarpour, M., Daneshi Maskooni, M., Kashani, A. and Azizi, S. (2013). Prevalence and consequences of food insecurity and its relation with some socio-economic factors. Journal of Knowledge and Wellness, 8(4): 193-198. (Persian)
  31. Salarkia, N., Abdollahi, M., Amini, M. and Neyestani, T.R. (2014). An adapted household food insecurity access scale is a valid tool as a proxy measure of food access for use in urban Iran. Food Security, 6(2): 275-282. DOI: 10.1007/s12571-014-0335-7.
  32. Savari, M., Shabanali Fami, H. and Daneshvar Ameri, Z. (2014). Analysis of Food Security Situation and its effective Factors in the Rural Society: a case study of Divandarreh County. Journal of Rural Research, 5(2): 311-332. DOI: 10.22059/JRUR.2014.52473. (Prsian)
  33. Sepahvand, R., Shariatnezhad, A. and Saedi, A. (2017). Design architectural model of human capital in governmental agencies using grounded theory. Development of Logistics and Human Resource Management, 44: 173-198. (Persian)
  34. Seydou, Z., Lin, Y. and Song, B. (2014). Factors influencing household food security in West Africa: the case of southern Niger. Journal of Sustainability, 6: 1192-1202. DOI: 10.3390/su6031191.
  35. Shirani Bidabadi, F. and Ahmadi Kaliji, S. (2014). The application of food diversity index for the examination of food security in Iran's rural areas. Village and Development, 16(2): 25-43. (Persian)
  36. Shirin, S.H. and Damari, B. (2017). The conceptual model of food and nutrition in Iran. Journal of Community Health, 4(3): 223-232.(Persian)
  37. Strauss, A. and Corbin, J. (1990). Basics of qualitative research: grounded theory procedures and techniques (Vol. 1). Available at
  38. Timothy, D.J. (2005). Rural tourism business: a North American overview. In: D. Hall, I. Kirkpatrick and M. Mitchell (Eds.), Rural Tourism and Sustainable Business (pp. 41-62), Channel View Publications.
  39. Trefry, A., Parkins, J. and Cundill, G. (2014). Culture and food security: a case study of homestead food production in South Africa. Journal of Food Security, 6(4): 555-565. DOI: 10.1007/s12571-014-0362-4.
  40. Varmazyari, H., Kalantari, Kh., Lavaei Adaryanni, R. and Samadi, M. (2018). A grounded theory approach to developing a model for challenges of policy-making and planning of rural development in Iran. Village and Development, 21(2): 97-123). (Persian)
  41. Yasini, A., Abbasi Niki, M., Taban, M. and Pourashraf, Y. (2017). Designing thw model for higher education marketing in Iran. Journal of Business Management, 9(2): 415-438. DOI: 10.22059/JIBM.2017.217294.2285. (Persian)
  42. Zeraatkish, S.Y. and Kamaei, Z.H. (2017). Factors affecting food security of rural farming households in Kohgilouyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province of Iran. Journal of Food Science and Nutrition, 14(2): 77-86. (Persian)