The rural non-farm economy, Livelihoods and their
The rural non-farm economy (RNFE) may be defined as comprising all those activities associated with waged work or self-employment in income generating activities (including income in-kind) that are not agricultural but which generate income (including remittances etc.) rural areas. In some contexts rural non-farm activities are also important sources of local economic growth (e.g. tourism, mining, timber processing, etc). The promotion of diversification of activities may be an important component of poverty alleviation in rural areas. The rural non-farm economy is of great importance to the rural economy for its productive and employment effects, while the income it provides to rural households represents a substantial and growing share of rural incomes. Often this share is particularly high for the rural poor. There is evidence that these contributions are becoming increasingly significant for food security, poverty alleviation and farm sector competitiveness and productivity. . In the light of increasing donor and developing country interest in the sharing of good practice for methodological approaches in analysis, policy intervention and support to the rural non-farm economy, we consider it timely to draw out the key emerging lessons from international experience to date. These have, where appropriate, been set in the context of current thinking on the topic and aim to add value to the debate through drawing on evidenced based work, new empirical data and consensus based dialogue.
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