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Poverty Publication

David Neves (2017). Reconsidering rural development: Using livelihood analysis to examine rural development in the former homelands of South Africa. (PLAAS Research Report 54).

‘Rural development’ as concept and focus of public policy is comparatively new, having emerged in the post-war period. Much of the impetus for ‘rural development’ arose in the context of newly decolonised, low-income countries, where particularly development economists mooted the ability of the smallscale and subsistence agricultural sector to proactively contribute to national economic development. Early efforts to promote rural development were, therefore, not driven simply by the promise of increasing rural employment and food production. Instead, it was believed that rising agricultural productivity would drive national development by freeing up a marketable surplus, attracting foreign exchange, and providing a market for domestic industrial production.


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