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Rural economy has an important role in rural sustainable development in every region or country. However, the rural economy in Iran is too much depending on agriculture and development of other rural economy in particular nonfarm activities, has been neglected by Iranian rural communities. Therefore, the aim of this study was to identify the role of non-farm business on rural sustainable development in Sanandaj Township. This study was a type of surveying research and employed both questionnaire and interview tools. A four-part questionnaire (with 48 questions) was developed in order to collect data from the respondents. Likert-type responses with five scales were used to assess different sections of the questionnaires. The questionnaires’ reliability was tested by Cronbach’s Alpha technique and it was 76% (α= 0.76). A number of 279 families, 181 families with and 98 without non-farm business were selected randomly in 2011. Results of the study showed that non-farm business can contribute to employment growth, income generating, and prevent seasonal and permanent migration from rural areas. Based on the results, non-farm business and non-farm industries need to be strongly invested by financial facilities through rural cooperatives and unions. Additionally, encouraging rural participation is essential in non-farms and industrial activities.


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