Summary of the rural planning and sustainable rural development
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Summary of the rural planning and sustainable rural development The book tried to analyse the policies and approaches used by southeast Asian countries in response to the changing rural-urban relation, it suggested that rural and urban problems cannot be treated separately because urban problems are usually rooted in unsatisfactory rural plannings. Developing countries have experienced rapid urbanisation since 1950s, planners have tried to develop policies to enhance economic growth and development. During the process of transformation, traditional rural-urban relations are often be distorted. Besides, new technologies and urban-based industrialisation strategies brought out a polarised dichotomies between large cities and rural areas, in relation to demographic, economic and political characteristics, for examples difference in salaries, functions and infrastructures. Although urban expansion facilitated urban industrialisation and rural-to-urban migration, urban dominance and ever-increasing population pressure gived rise to the aggravation of landlessness, rural poverty and environmental degradation. In response to this situation, many Asian countries in the seventies have adopted a rural-based regional strategy to reduce regional growth disparities and promote subordinate rural development. Nevertheless, critics claimed for a more balanced approach thought that the rural-based strategies may have overreacted to the persistent problems of urban primacy, they think that the relative stagnation of rural area is resulted from false dichotomic opposition of rural versus urban and polarised development in the capital cities and national core areas due to the green revolution meant.
It is because the employment opportunities generated by traditional modes of production would probably be eliminated by the protected modern industries with higher productivity and more advanced technologies. Consequently, much work in the informal sector becomes 'involuted' with productivity and real income declining over time. The third form of interaction between these sectors identified in the macro-spatial framework is the peasant economy within the rural sector. The peasant economy is relatively isolated from the rapid-expanding ones in the metropolis, its technology remains 'traditional' and production critically depends on landlord-peasant relationships and land-ownership pattern. The third characteristic of peasant economy is the low level of urbanization due to the nature of the subsistence economy and lack of cash income in these rural areas. The writers believed this economy is essentially village oriented and the linkage between the poorly developed village and more distance region are based on the extraction of primary products, whereas the import of manufactured goods from the metropolis or aboard is often limited. The authors found out that Thailand is the only country which experienced expansion of cultivation area in the 1960s. At the same time, land/worker ratios are worsening, with the exception of Korea and Taiwan, land available per agricultural worker has been declining. The writers tried to relate the land/worker ratio to the Gini coefficient the Southeast Asian countries and discovered that those with the highest demographic pressure on their land resources such as Malaysia and Philippines not only do not show better asset distribution but are also the ones with highest inequality in land distribution.
The writer finally studied the access of rural development to general incentives and suggested that social structural mediation are critical to the increasing access to these incentives. In conclusion, the writer believed that what is lacking in the above strategies is a much fuller understanding of poverty creating process at the local level and the implication of macro-functions for example the role of the States influencing it. It is also likely that poverty is due to the low technology and problems in farm managements. Therefore, governments serve a crucial role in the growth of developing countries, but there is always a problem that policies exhibited a so called urban bias in an effort to enhance the rate of industrialisation through the implementation of protectionist trade policies and import substitution. As agricultural prices were suppressed and the costs of inputs increased, so income and employment growth in agriculture suffered. This leads to a significant wage gap between the traditional and modern sectors, which served as a stimulus behind rural to urban migration. The rapidity of this migration, coupled with high population growth, resulted in the substantial growth of the informal sector of cities. The problems associated with the informal sector in terms of the development of large slum settlements has provided a new focus for urban based policies, looking to improve living conditions and create an environment conducive to increased private and municipal investment. The is what government have to face with during the process of rural-urban migration. Reference: 1. Lo, F-C. 1981. Rural-Urban Relations and Regional Development. Singapore: Maruzen Asia. Chapters 1, 2 and 5
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