Poverty is one of the major factors that hinder development, it is categorized into two main terms which are absolute and relative, with absolute being the most dominate in most rural areas of the world. This essay will outline the measures of alleviating poverty in rural areas, in which a rural area by definition is a small civil division in a country with a few inhabitants and sparsely populated. The alleviation measures include modernization of infrastructure, developing of micro-enterprises, improvements in land access, access to services such as education and health, eradication of child labour and gender inequality, improvements in information/advocacy and increase in food subsidies. Despite enormous economic progress, a vast majority of people who live in rural areas continue to suffer acute and chronic deprivation due to lack of implementation of most poverty alleviation measures. Generally to alleviate is to make something less intense and severe. Therefore, poverty is defined relative to the standards of living in a society at a specific time. Relative poverty is an expression of the poverty of one entity in relation to another entity (De beer and Swanepoel, 2000, p.3) while absolute is the situation of being unable or only barely able to meet the subsistence essentials of food, clothing, and she1lter according to Todaro and Smith (2012, p.16). Modern infrastructure construction in rural areas is vital in alleviating poverty for improving people’s standards of living. These infrastructure include development of irrigation facilities specifically the agriculture sector in order to increase yield per hectare through help of IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) to mobilize resources from other donors to finance this infrastructure investments1 while rural road construction helps people engage in favorable trade between various places whereas construction of proper housing and sanitation improves individuals living conditions. These investments among others are substantial in terms of increased economic activity, off-farm employment and the building up of assets in the rural sector. Land access in rural areas is as well crucial in alleviating poverty because it plays a major role as a source of income in these areas due to their high reliance on agriculture. According to Gaiha (1993, p.91) ‘land reforms comprise of a wide range of changes and improvements which include land redistribution and land titling with varying degrees of targeting on the poorer population’. The reforms of the structure of land access is only a part of a strategy to provide smallholders with the incentives, skills and infrastructure to increase their productivity which in turn employ others and enhance both overall economic performance and the living condition of the poor in rural areas. ‘Smallholders are those with a low asset base operating less than 2 hectares of cropland’ World Bank (2003). For land access to be effective they must be an active support from the state in response to the demands of the landless poor. Development of rural micro-enterprises is as well important, because when critically analyzed more than half of the jobs in the rural areas are provided by enterprises with less than 10 workers, and 50% of these are family-run businesses. Particularly the fast growing are businesses owned by women (usually farm outputs). In order to foster the development of such micro-enterprises, it is essential to create conditions that will enable them to become competitive and independent of outside support archived through provision of a favourable regulatory framework, policies and improving the access of low-income groups to financial and commercial services. According to G. Echeveria (2000) the development of small and micro-businesses in rural areas can also be aided by efforts to decentralize and improve rural financial services, especially if access to small loans can be increased....
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