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Soft or Hard


  • Somnath Ghosal

    (Fellow, India Development Foundation, Gurgaon, India


In the Global South, inadequate infrastructure at the village level is considered as the major constraint for the economic empowerment of socio-economically deprived communities, living marginal life at the remotest part of the state. Whenever we talk about infrastructure development, normally road transport systems, health care services, education facilities and business opportunities come in our mind. In this article, these are considered as the hard infrastructure that someone can perceive. The article, however, also examines about soft infrastructure or the knowledge development, institutional structures including socio-political configurations and other societal issues related to livelihood generations that can play an imperative role for the financial enhancement of a society, particularly which is belonging at the bottom level. Defining infrastructure in a new direction, the article presents how both soft infrastructure in terms of knowledge development and hard infrastructure in terms of post-harvest advanced storage system for minor forest products can boost-up livelihood generation for economically deprived communities, living at the forest fringe areas in the Global South with an example from the south-western part of West Bengal, India.

Suggested Citation

  • Somnath Ghosal, 2013. "Soft or Hard," Journal of Infrastructure Development, India Development Foundation, vol. 5(2), pages 137-149, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:jouinf:v:5:y:2013:i:2:p:137-149

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    Infrastructure development; minor forest products; knowledge development; storage; tribal; economy; India;

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • Q23 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Forestry


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