Potentials and Constraints of Rural Development in Zambia

Topics: Economics, Poverty, Economy Pages: 6 (1901 words) Published: February 26, 2014
Development is essential for every aspect of life. To improve a nation, the economy has to be developed. Among the socio-economic targets of all countries is the development of the rural areas. Rural development in general is usually used to denote the actions and initiatives taken to improve the standard of living in non-urban neighborhoods, countryside, and remote villages. This paper intends to discuss rural development, how its brought about and the effects both positive and negatives of rural development. The later part of the paper shall explain why this kind of development is every country’s turning point.

We start by dealing with “development”, a term having various meanings. It is the aggregation of intended actions to bring about desirable change. In this case, development is a practice of setting a goal to ameliorate the life of a group and transforming the society by political intervention. According to Agriinfo.com, there is no universally accepted definition of rural development. The term is used in different ways in vastly divergent contexts. As a concept, it connotes overall development of rural areas with a view to improve the quality of life rural people. As a phenomenon, it is the result of various physical, technological, economic, socio-cultural and institutional factors. As a discipline, it is multi-disciplinary in nature representing an insertion of agricultural, social, behavioral and management of science. In short, rural development is a process that aims at improving the standard of living of the people living in the rural areas.

Rural development has a few concerns. Two thirds of the total populations in African countries are inhabitants of rural areas. In addition, Agriculture is the most important economic activity for production and employment on many African countries. Rural development should be enhanced in order to promote such an important agricultural sector.

When poverty alleviation came to be the central issue in development, it was natural that the rural areas, where the majority of the poor lived, attracted the major concern. “Rural” in the notion of ‘rural development’ meant in this context a place where the poor live. Overall, the notion of rural development has been strongly linked with the goal of poverty alleviation, and with the framework for development strategy emphasizing not only economic growth but also distribution and equality. The Constraints of Rural Development

The socio-economic living conditions in rural areas show a paradoxical situation: on one hand, high proportion of farmers and cattle breeders should be able to produce enough food for self-sufficiency and sell the surplus at town markets in order to earn income, on the other hand, it is in rural areas that malnutrition prevails and where there is the greatest poverty. This means that the development of rural areas is confronted with serious problems: Transportation; Many rural areas have poor roads, utilities, transport (to market) and social. It is hard for rural areas to provide raw and processed materials for urban areas and demand for urban goods and services due to poor transportation and bad roads. It is recommended that there should be an upgrade and focus on grading, leveling, gravelling and other maintenance work on rural roads branching off from main trunk roads. The governments can focus on the construction of new farm roads to open up areas that have potential for commercial Agro-based land use. Education: Ignorance and lack of instruction. The peasants of rural areas must utilize fertilizers to produce much more on the cultivable land. The utilization and good management of fertilizers requires peasants to have a certain knowledge provided by suitable instruction. Studies show 42% of people in rural areas can neither read nor write. About 24% had completed primary school and 5 to 6% complete their secondary schooling. This low level of education is expressed in...

Bibliography: • African Studies and Rural Development; Shinichi Takeuchi
• Codrin Paveliuc; The Effects of Rural Development Policies, www.academia.edu
• Dimensions of Agricultural Extensions; What is Rural Development, www.agriinfo.com
• Jean Marara; Constraints and Handicaps of Rural Development in Rwanda
• Michael Holton; 10 Reasons Why Rural Community is Hard to Do, www.beefmagazine.com
• Solomon Lipman; What is Economic Development, www.svbic.com
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