Rural development

Rural development is the process of improving the quality of life and economic well-being of people living in rural areas, often relatively isolated and sparsely populated areas.[1]

Rural development has traditionally centered on the exploitation of land-intensive natural resources such as agriculture and forestry. However, changes in global production networks and increased urbanization have changed the character of rural areas. Increasingly tourism, niche manufacturers, and recreation have replaced resource extraction and agriculture as dominant economic drivers.[2] The need for rural communities to approach development from a wider perspective has created more focus on a broad range of development goals rather than merely creating incentive for agricultural or resource based businesses. Education, entrepreneurship, physical infrastructure, and social infrastructure all play an important role in developing rural regions.[3] Rural development is also characterized by its emphasis on locally produced economic development strategies.[4] In contrast to urban regions, which have many similarities, rural areas are highly distinctive from one another. For this reason there are a large variety of rural development approaches used globally.[5]

Rural development is a comprehensive term. It essentially focuses on action for the development of areas outside the mainstream urban economic system. we should think of what type of rural development is needed because modernization of village leads to urbanization and village environment disappears.

Development actions

Rural development actions are intended to further the social and economic development of rural communities.[6][7]

Rural development programs have historically been top-down from local or regional authorities, regional development agencies, NGOs, national governments or international development organizations. Local populations can also bring about endogenous initiatives for development. The term is not limited to issues of developing countries. In fact many developed countries have very active rural development programs.

Rural development aims at finding ways to improve rural lives with participation of rural people themselves, so as to meet the required needs of rural communities.[8] The outsider may not understand the setting, culture, language and other things prevalent in the local area. As such, rural people themselves have to participate in their sustainable rural development. In developing countries like Nepal, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, China, integrated development approaches are being followed up.[9] In this context, many approaches and ideas have been developed and implemented, for instance, bottom-up approach, PRA- Participatory Rural Appraisal, RRA- Rapid Rural Appraisal, Working With People (WWP) [10], etc. The New Rural Reconstruction Movement in China has been actively promoting rural development through their ecological farming projects.[11] [12]

The components of rural development

Rural development agencies

See also


  1. Moseley, Malcolm J. (2003). Rural development : principles and practice (1. publ. ed.). London [u.a.]: SAGE. p. 5. ISBN 978-0-7619-4766-0.
  2. Ward, Neil; Brown, David L. (1 December 2009). "Placing the Rural in Regional Development". Regional Studies. 43 (10): 1237–1244. doi:10.1080/00343400903234696.
  3. Rowley, Thomas D., ed. (1996). Rural development research : a foundation for policy (1. publ. ed.). Westport, Conn. [u.a.]: Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-313-29726-7.
  4. Moseley, Malcolm J. (2003). Rural development : principles and practice (1. publ. ed.). London [u.a.]: SAGE. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-7619-4766-0.
  5. Van Assche, Kristof. & Hornidge, Anna-Katharina. (2015) Rural development. Knowledge & expertise in governance. Wageningen Academic Publishers, Wageningen
  6. Chigbu, U.E. (2012). Village Renewal as an Instrument of Rural Development: Evidence from Weyarn, Germany. Community Development, Vol. 43 (2), pp. 209-224.
  7. World Bank. (1975) Rural development. Sector policy paper. Washington, DC: The World Bank.
  8. Pellissery, Sony (2012). "Rural Development". Encyclopedia of Sustainability. 7: 222–225.
  9. Anil K. Rajvanshi, Roadmap for Rural India, Current Science, Vol. 111, No.1, July 2016
  10. Cazorla, A., De los Ríos, I., & Salvo, M. (2013). Working With People (WWP) in Rural Development Projects: a Proposal from Social Learning. Cuadernos de Desarrollo Rural, 10 (70), 131-157
  11. Si, Zhenzhong and Scott, Steffanie (2016). The convergence of alternative food networks within “rural development” initiatives: the case of the New Rural Reconstruction Movement in China Local Environment, 21(9): 1082-1099.
  12. Scott, Steffanie; Si, Zhenzhong; Schumilas, Theresa and Chen, Aijuan. (2018). Organic Food and Farming in China: Top-down and Bottom-up Ecological Initiatives New York: Routledge
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