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Title:Busy work or real business: revaluing the role of non-agricultural activities in African rural development
Author:Pedersen, Poul OveISNI
Series:ASC working paper
City of publisher:Leiden
Publisher:African Studies Centre
Geographic term:Subsaharan Africa
Subjects:rural society
rural areas
agricultural development
External link:https://hdl.handle.net/1887/411
Abstract:The importance of rural nonagricultural activities in sub-Saharan Africa has been growing during the past two decades, but their role in rural development is still unclear. Current debate about agricultural and rural development centres on two competing paradigms, one focused on increased market orientation and the new global order, the other beamed at local development and environmental issues. However, neither encompasses the role of rural nonagricultural activities. The present paper reviews the two paradigms and their nonagricultural oversight. The two prevailing approaches to rural nonagricultural activities are the livelihoods perspective, which emphasizes the supplementary value of income generation for rural people who cannot survive on their agricultural incomes alone but is less concerned with their role in the rural production system, and the multiplier perspective, which focuses on the economic linkages of nonagricultural activities with agricultural production and rural household consumption but largely ignores their dominant nature as trade and service functions. The paper concludes with a discussion of the service perspective on rural nonagricultural activities.