Nature Of Rural Development In Nigeria
Rural development is viewed as that development that is beneficial to the rural populations, According to Olayide et al. (1981), Rural development is the process where determined efforts are made to enhance significant increase in rural resources, productivity with the aim of boosting income and creating employment opportunity to people in the rural communities.
It consist of an integrated approach to increase food production, provision of physical, social and institutional infrastructures with the objective of providing good healthcare delivery system, affordable and quality education, improved and sustainable agriculture etc.
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Rural development fosters the modernization of the rural society and integrates its traditional isolation with the national economy.
The concept of Rural Development is used to indicate a sustained improvement in the quality of life of the people in the rural communities.
It applies a consistent approach in which micro and macro economic, social, political, cultural and technological factors are engineered, combined and implemented for the benefit and development of people in the rural areas. Rural development is used along side with with agricultural development.
Because there exist a strong interrelationship between agriculture and rural development.Many rural people are predominantly engaged in agriculture which one greatest channel to foster a rapid development in the rural communities.
Therefore efforts at rural development impact considerably on farmers who constitute the focus of agricultural development program.
It is on this premise that the integrated rural development projects in Nigeria were implemented to ensure that agricultural and rural development projects became part of a package of services offered to farmers and the rural population.
It is essential so as to generate foreign exchange, and to attract revenue to finance public and private consumption and investment.
Rural development may also be seen as an ideology and a practice. It may mean planned change by public agencies based outside the rural areas such as the National Government and International organizations.
Rural Development typifies a sustained development in the quality of life of the rural people. The ultimate aim is poverty alleviation based on increase in rural productivity and income, diversification of the rural economy, adequate supply of rural infrastructure consisting of physical, social and institutional infrastructure, provision of social participation and total transformation and improvement of the quality of life of the rural people.
Rural development also considers – economic issues, social, political, legal, cultural and environmental issues. This enlarged rural development concept, is referred to as sustained rural development, which takes a long – term view of meeting the needs of the people today without compromising the needs of future generation.
Rural Development simply connotes a sustained improvement in the quality of life of the rural people. It implies consistency in approach in which micro and macro economic, social, political, cultural and technological variables are engineered, combined and implemented as an organic and dynamic whole for the benefit of the people.
Rural development is used synonymous with agricultural development. This is because of the strong interrelationship between agriculture and rural development.
Agriculture is a predominantly rural activity and efforts at rural development impact considerably on farmers who are the focus of agricultural development efforts.
It is on this account that the integrated rural development projects in Nigeria were designed to ensure that agricultural and rural development efforts became part of a package of services offered to farmers and the rural population.
Problems Of Rural Development In Nigeria
In Africa the factors hampering rural development according to Muhammed (2007) include:
1. Problem of Unclear Objectives
The objectives of the state and traditional public in agriculture and rural development often are not properly defined.
In many countries public institutions or parastatals that control and provides access to agricultural input and output markets, land markets, and finance, tends to be inefficient and unresponsive to changes in market conditions, and also favor a privileged few.
2. Problem of Limited Resources
Limited resources has led to the concentration of Resources in the hands of a few. such as land, capital, and access to knowledge and technology, which has led to high unemployment and low – productivity among rural inhabitants, combined with over-capitalization of agriculture and poor utilization of productive land.
3. Problem of Designing Incentive System
The Designing of incentive systems to deal with common property resources is fundamentally difficult. Natural resources, such as water, pastures, forests, and fisheries, are not properly put to use in many countries, since they are viewed as open access resources with limited restraints on who wants to use them.
Therefore the Designing and implementing effective community-based systems is difficult for managing these resources is difficult and only just commencing in some
4. Problem of inadequate levels of agriculture productivity particular in food crop
5. Problem of high levels of absolute rural poverty
This constitute a predominant factor for consideration to foster rural development in nigeria
6. Problem of poor level of infrastructure facilities.
According to (Shiru, 2008). One greatest problem facing rural development is the lack of modern machinery and tools for large scale agricultural development.
As a result many communities are still in peasant farming and in abject poverty in Nigeria .The government and international agencies often do not consider the interests of the local farmers in the application of technological change.
Prospects Of Rural Development In Nigeria
Currently the objective of the National Policy on Rural Development provides for an ideal situation of an acceptable level of development in the rural area. Summary of this objectives include:
1. The promotion of the social, cultural, educational and economic well being of the rural communities
2. The promotion of a sustained and orderly development of the huge resources available in the rural areas for the benefit of the rural communities
3. The need to increase and diversify of job opportunities in the rural areas
4. The improvement of income earning capacity of the rural communities
5. The mobilization of the rural population for self-help and self-sustaining projects and programme for the development of the rural commuinties.
6. The development of the technological based industries in the rural area (Ogbazi, 1992).
7. The implementation of several programs aimed at rural development such as Agricultural Development Programme (1975), Directorate of Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructure (1986), Better Life Programme (1981), Family Support Programme (1995), Family Economic Advancement Programme (1997), Abia State Agency for Community – Based Poverty Reduction Project (2000) and National Special Programme for Food Security (2001)etc.
International Journal of Academic Research in Progressive Education and Development July 2012, Vol. 1, PG52Click here to see the latest Jobs opportunities in Nigeria.
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