Researching of Rural Development

Why research rural development?
The concept of rural development has changed over the last three decades; the paradigm shifts in economic development from growth to widely defined “development”, the notion of rural development has adopted a more holistic view.   The establishment of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals reinforces this shift in development paradigm. The concept of rural development has therefore shifted focus from agricultural growth and increasing in output to assessing changes in quality of life which includes improvement in nutrition, health, education, gender and income inequality, access to resources and access to political and civil freedoms and in recent years the environmental impacts of economic activity (Fakuda-Parr, 2003). “Rural development” is defined as including:
“the provision of social and physical infrastructure, the provision of
financial services in non-urban areas, non-farm and small-medium
enterprises activities in rural communities and market towns, that
are more linked to the rural economies than they are to the economies
of the larger urban cities, as well as the development of traditional
rural sectors, such as agriculture and natural resource management” (Barrios, 2008:4)

Moreover, rural poverty still continues to be a major concern for most developing countries (Desai and Potter, 2008) as population in the developing world are more in rural than urban areas (IFAD, 2011). Around 55% of the world’s population accounts for rural and approximately 70% of the poorest people in the world live in rural areas and out of this most of the hungry and poor are young people and children. The regions which are worst effected by hunger and poverty are South Asia with the highest number of rural poor and Sub-Saharan Africa with the greatest incidence of rural poverty. Furthermore, it is indicated that poverty varies greatly within regions, countries as well as within countries (IFAD, 2011).