13 Rural development is of high importance for poverty reduction as well as for

13 rural development is of high importance for

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13 Rural development is of high importance for poverty reduction as well as for agricultural growth in developing countries. Rural development, concerned with improving the livelihoods of the rural population and especially the poor, is broader than agricultural development. Whereas the farm sector is the focus of the latter, rural households are the main preoccupation of rural development. Rural development is concerned with household income, resource allocation, poverty, and access to basic needs such as health, education and food security. The heterogeneity among households in rural areas with respect to these issues is important for the design of rural development strategies (de Janvry et al. 2002). Whereas households that derive their main income from farm activities can benefit from improved agricultural technologies, landless rural households that diversify toward the non-farm sector would generate greater welfare from policies that improve such employment opportunities. Agricultural development and rural development are often connected. This is, for example, where smallholders are important for guaranteeing food security. Rural development strategies often involve many different actors, such as the state, civil society and market participants. Defining a new approach toward rural development for today‘s developing world will require defining the roles and importance of the actors in the process. Understanding the positions they took in past approaches to rural development is an important first step. Approaches to achieve the goal of rural development have changed significantly over the past decades. 14 During the 1950s and 1960s, community-based rural development strategies, in which members of communities were given joint responsibility to manage their community resources, were put in place. UN programs, for example, sent civil servants and experts from government agencies to support village communities, and the latter were supposed to establish their own development plans involving infrastructure, education and agricultural improvements while outside experts provided advice and grants. Community development (CD) was meant to enable cooperation between the state and the rural population. It decentralized development issues to encourage self-help efforts (Holdcroft 1978). During the heydays of the Green Revolution during the 1960s, the diffusion of technology to smallholders by government agencies was considered a key part of rural development. CD was very popular 13 De Janvry and Sadoulet (2009b) estimate that between 45 and 93 percent of worldwide poverty reduction over 1993 2002 can be attributed to a decrease in rural poverty, depending on the extent to which migration out of rural areas involves more poor or non-poor individuals. Under the poverty-neutral migration scenario, the contribution is 56 percent.
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