Rural and Urban Development: Sustainable Rural-Urban Linkages
32 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2016
Date Written: March 1, 2016
Rural and urban development remains a key priority area in the growth and poverty reduction agenda of most developing countries. Over 60 percent of Zambia’s population derives its livelihood from agriculture. Despite Zambia experiencing strong economic growth in the recent past, rural-urban development has not performed well (Tacoli 2004, p.3). The focus today is that rural-urban linkages are vital in order to reduce poverty and promote rural and urban development in a sustainable manner. More importantly, strong linkages can contribute to the improvement in the living standards and creation of job opportunities of both rural and urban areas (Akkoyunlu 2013, p.14). From the perspective of agriculture sector, it is clear that the availability of adequate and good infrastructure is the backbone of rural-urban relationships and how interdependent they are to each other (Tacoli 2004, p.3).
It is important to stress the fact that rural-urban inter-linkage affects the formulation and implementation of rural-urban development initiatives in developing countries. In practice, it is easy to apportion the blame on the policy makers over the failure of forward and backward linkages between the agricultural and industrial sectors of the economy (OECD 2005, p.18). Quite understandably, scholars such as Tacoli (2004, p.4) holds the view that urban-biased policies influence these linkages and have serious implications on the design of development strategies to promote growth and reduce poverty.
Notably, it can be argued that urban bias policies in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) can promote broader economic growth to the rural-urban economy. Rural-urban linkages are essential to fight poverty and hunger through pro-poor agricultural productivity in the context of rural development and urbanization. It is said that strong linkages can improve the living conditions and job opportunities of both rural and urban people (Tacoli, 1998, p.34).
Keywords: rural-urban development, rural-urban inter-linkage, rural and urban economy, reducing poverty, agriculture rural urban migration
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