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What is Rural Development?

Rural development primarily focuses on action to be taken for the development of areas which are backward in the overall development of the village economy. Some of the areas which pose a challenge to the progress of our nation include:
  • Land Reforms
  • Human Resource development which includes increasing the literacy levels, especially female literacy, female development and also health issues like sanitation and public health
  • Developing the productive resources of each locality
  • Infrastructural development like electricity, irrigation, transport, credit, construction of village roads and connectivity to highways, fostering agricultural research, extension and information dissemination.
  • Special measures for eradicating of poverty and bringing about significant changes in the standards of living of the weaker sections of the population.   
All of the above indicate that the farming communities have to be helped and means have to be developed in order to help them increase the productivity of all grains, fruits, vegetables and cereals. They also have to be given opportunities to diversify into non agricultural activities like food processing. We also have to give the farmers better and affordable healthcare, sanitation facilities and education. All these should be given top priority for rapid rural development.

We have observed in the previous chapters that though the share of agriculture sector's contribution to GDP decreased, the population depending on it for livelihood did not decrease. Also, even after the reforms were introduced, the growth rate of agriculture declined. Economists feel that there has been the decline in the public investment in the sector. Apart from that, the other reasons for the decline in growth rate are inadequate infrastructure, lack of alternate employment opportunities, increasing casualisation of employment etc. All these factors stop the growth of our rural sector. The lack of growth has caused distress amongst our farmers.

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