Open Access (electronic)
Repository: EconStor (German National Library of Economics, ZBW)
Rural poverty is linked to the exposure of the households to economic vulnerability through their chronic dependence on agriculture in income-generation. A starting point in mitigating this vulnerability would be a comprehensive accessibility improvement that substantially reduces transportation cost and isolation of the rural communities from basic welfare services. An advocacy campaign and/or incentive system that will encourage private firms to establish operations in rural areas will be needed. More private establishments in rural areas will not only shield the households against exposure to vulnerability but will also serve as a catalyst for microenterprise development. Sustainable rural development will follow provided that there is an ample corporate social responsibility program among these firms to avert widening of inequality. A natural resource management strategy will also be needed for ecological integrity. Participation is crucial in development project identification to minimize wastage of resources and possibly reallocate it to other productive uses. Provision of rural roads should be bundled properly with support services and capacity-building activities. This can enhance the demand for other infrastructure and services resulting to a dynamic evolution of essential elements in the pursuit of rural development. Bundles of intervention improve production efficiency of rural households at the different stages of production in-farm and/or off-farm. Rural development interventions should pay special attention to the more vulnerable segment, the farmers especially, with the goal of gradually detaching them from complete dependence on agriculture without putting their food security at risk. Public investment on infrastructure and user's fees can complement each other in the continuous provision of new infrastructure and maintenance of the existing infrastructure, for a sustainable track towards rural development. The socialized user's fee system is a potential tool for preventing the widening income disparity in rural areas. It is important however to carefully choose a suitable and acceptable basis for the socialized user's fee rates. An incorrect choice can be perceived as a disincentive for access or might stimulate distrust among a segment of the rural society regarding the sincerity of the government in pushing rural development. This might eventually create more social issues rather than bridging inequality.