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Globalization and Rural Development: Emerging Realities

By Globus Press


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Education and training are two of the most powerful weapons in the fight against rural poverty and for rural development. Unfortunately, these are also among the most neglected aspects of rural development interventions by national governments and by donors. Since the decade of the seventies, when there was considerable interest and investment in traditional agricultural education, new investments have been few and far between. There are a number of reasons for the declining interest in traditional agricultural education (including vocational education and training, higher education, research and extension). One of these was a false sense of complacency that arose when the famous green revolution appeared to offer limitless science-based solutions to the production of staple grains, especially rice and wheat. To a certain extent, the policy maker felt that agricultural education had solved the problem of food production and turned its attention to other seemingly more urgent challenges. The growth of urbanization and the change in the balance of political influence also saw policy makers become more attentive to urban issues than to education in rural areas. Developing countries and the donor community are adopting a fresh approach to rural problems and the traditional focus on agricultural production has given way to a focus on rural development. There is a belief that if poverty is to be reduced and if sustainable rural development is to be a reality, there has to be concern about all the people who live in what is termed the rural space. In the past ‘rural’ was synonymous with agriculture. Agriculture was the most important economic sector, for it produced vital food supplies and was the largest employer. Despite its strength, agricultural production could not absorb all surplus rural labour, nor could it influence other sectors such as health, education and infrastructure to invest at a level sufficient to transform rural areas. Today, the rural development approach recognizes that there are many different stakeholders in the rural space. The present publication seeks to treat the subject as much more than a mere theories. This book would serve the students, as a semi-textbook and the teachers, as a guiding reference book.

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