3c) Area development as example of integrated rural development
The process of development in all countries is structured
by national development planning. The national-usually five
year-plans stipulate macro-economic goals as a kind of target
planning, and usually include a sector split-up. Within this
overall framework, regional and area development plans must
be integrated. These area plans are of the utmost importance
for the integrated rural development. While its goals have
to fit into the national development plans, practical implementation
takes- place within the regional
Only at the area system level is it possible to work out
operationally feasible programmes based on the analysis of
the area resource potential and the interrelationship of its
Technical and administrative capacity for implementation
is usually located at the regional level and can best be mobilized
Economics of scale and the system of interrelated elements
in the integrated rural development project require a minimum
geographic area and population with a certain development
At the area level, mobilization and participation of various
groups can best be organized.
The area level provides best chances for integrating subsistence
agriculture, and modern agriculture with non-agricultural
activities, and for creating the new forms of social organization
and production required.
plans. A number of experiences are imperative for the importance
of areas as units for the implementation of integrated rural
The concept of regional planning emphasized the system approach.
The regional system is located below the national and international
system and above the local farm/enterprise system. Any change
in one system will have implications for the other, and changes
in one element of the system has consequences for the others.
To illustrate this, let us assume an increase infertilizer
price. This will reduce its application, and the consequence
will be lower yields and, possibly, higher prices for agricultural
products, or more imports with repercussions on the balance
of payments. A reduced income in agriculture will result in
less demand for non-agricultural products, etc. On the other
hand, the increase in fertilizer price may cause a shift to
crops which depend less on fertilizer, and change farm organization.
This illustration might suffice to show the interrelation
of elements in a system.