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Why Poor People Stay Poor? Essay


Compare and contrast the concepts of integrated rural development and agricultural transformation with a specific example of a country or a region.

Rural integration development is a process that aims at alleviating poverty in a given region by pulling limited resources together and making maximum use of the resources. An example is a group of youths in Kibera slums in Kenya who have come together to undertake projects. Agricultural transformation on the other hand is concerned with the various improvements that can be done in the agricultural sector to enhance production.

An example is farmers in Narok town in Kenya, who have consolidated their small parcels of land to facilitate large scale production. The agricultural transformation uses the land as a major production factor and it cannot be achieved without land while rural integration development does not necessarily use land.

The major aim of rural integration is bridging the gap between the rich and the poor while agricultural transformation aims at improving production in the agricultural sector. In agricultural transformation, diversification is discouraged while in rural integration diversification is encouraged to make sure most people take part in the production process. However, both rural integration and agricultural transformation are aimed at ensuring economic development have they alleviate poverty in society (FAO 1998).

Briefly explain at least 5 major structural characteristics of agriculture of three regions: Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia.

The mentioned countries use mechanization to enhance their production. Tractors and combined harvesters are good examples of machines used to carry out agricultural activities that could be done by humans. Crop rotation is another major practice in these countries; tracks of land are used to grow different crops during different production periods. This is done to ensure soil fertility.

Irrigation is another major structural characteristic of agriculture in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia. The dry areas that are productive are irrigated to make them useful in agricultural production. Irrigation is also practiced in the mentioned countries during the dry periods (Lipton 1977).

Large scale production is a structural characteristic in these countries. Many small tracks of land are consolidated to form large tracks of land. These large tracks of land are then used for large scale production of both crop and animal farming. These countries also practice animal husbandry which entails controlled breeding. In controlled breeding, livestock is selected for mating based on the characteristics they possess and thus ensuring the offspring have better characteristics due to cross-breeding (Meier 1995).

Women bear a disproportionate burden in the agrarian system of sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America. In addition, their productivity is low. Explain these statements with specific examples from individual developing economies. What measures/policies have been implemented to deal with these two issues? Once again discuss specific examples from individual developing economies.

The specific policies aimed at improving women’s production in agriculture are; funds which women tend to lack to enable them to smoothly carry out their agricultural activities. The government can support them in terms of loans, grants, or bonuses. This will enable them to pay their laborers, transport their products, and out other relevant production processes.

The various methods that can be used to train these women include; inviting them for seminars and workshops or sending agricultural extension offices to their farms. In seminars and workshops, the women can be trained on new production techniques that could improve their production in agriculture. The extension officers can carry out the activities together with the women in their farms to ensure they understand (Meier 1995).

Marketing is a major challenge as most women lack ready markets for their products and thus the products perish before they are utilized. Some of the new marketing techniques that could be used include; the government buying the produce from the women farmers at a fair price and selling them on their behalf and even exporting the products. The government should also stop importing locally produced goods should to ensure their products have large market shares.

The women who indulge in agriculture in developing countries find it hard to source farm inputs, tools, and machinery. These women can be given fertilizers, seedlings, hoes, and other farm inputs by the government to reduce the hustle they face. Women in India and Kenya face common challenges in farming. Thus the policies adopted in Kenya explained above can be practiced in India.

What role should the governments play with respect to the agricultural sector in developing countries to align with new industrializations policy in their attempts to alleviate poverty? What type of reform(s) in trade policy is compatible with both developed and developing countries in undertaking such measures in the face of rapid globalization?

The government has to do a lot to enhance the agricultural sector. The government can consider the provision of capital to farmers as one of the major ways of boosting agriculture. Funds can be given to farmers in carrying out various farming activities. Farm implements and machinery can also be provided by the government to enhance production (Lipton 1977).

The government can also consider improving the transport and communication system in the country. This can improve the transportation of the farm inputs and products thus enhancing productivity. Communication also enhances production as the farmers can share ideas and even reach the services of extension officers’ via the improved communication systems (FAO 1998).

The construction of industries is another major boost that the government can give to the agricultural sector. The industries can produce tools, machinery, and provide a ready market for the farmers as they can process the produce into finished products. The government can also consider purchasing goods from the farmers and export them; this will provide a ready market for the farmers’ thus encouraging production. Developed countries and developing countries can adapt to e-commerce as a trading policy to enhance globalization.


FAO. (1998) Rural women and food security: current situation and perspectives. Italy: Rome.

Lipton, M. (1977) Why Poor People Stay Poor: A Study of Urban Bias in World Development. London: Maurice Temple Smith.

Meier, G (1995). Leading Issues in Economic Development. London: Oxford University Press.

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