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Patterns of rural non-farm diversification and employment in


  • Junior Davis

    (Natural Resources Institute)

  • Adriana Cristoiu

    (Imperial College at Wye)


The radical changes that have occurred in the Romanian economy during the last decade have created new pressures on the country’s rural areas. Increasing industrial unemployment generated an urban-rural migratory flow of the population. The collapse of the agri-industrial processing and industrial sector increased rural unemployment. Since 1991, land reform has also generated new relationships in rural areas, and a massive redistribution of land. However, agriculture continues to function inefficiently, and is unable to provide a decent and sustainable standard of living for most rural inhabitants. Therefore, many donors and multilateral agencies are focusing on the potential of the rural non-farm economy (RNFE) and more specifically, Non-Farm Diversification (henceforth NFD) to reduce rural underemployment. NFD through the development of the RNFE may also provide means of increasing rural incomes, assist the improved utilisation of locally available resources and promote a better standard of living for rural population through enhanced non-farm employment opportunities and growth. There are several reasons underlying the rural poor’ decision to diversify: low on-farm incomes or returns on labour, the existence of a surplus of resources (land, capital, labour or knowledge), as a strategy to spread risk, or to smooth the impact of the fluctuations in a unique source of income (e.g. agriculture). The present paper relies on community-level data from a survey conducted in two Romanian Counties, Dolj and Brasov, to analyse the main determinants of NFD in rural areas. The main findings are placed in a national context and policy proposals are advanced.

Suggested Citation

  • Junior Davis & Adriana Cristoiu, 2005. "Patterns of rural non-farm diversification and employment in," Development and Comp Systems 0510021, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:0510021
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 25

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. J.R. Davis & P.G. Hare, 1997. "Reforming the Systems of Rural Finance Provision in Romania: Some Options for Privatisation and Change," CERT Discussion Papers 9713, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
    2. Ellis,Frank, 1993. "Peasant Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521457118, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Junior Davis, 2005. "The rural non-farm economy, Livelihoods and their," Development and Comp Systems 0510016, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Madaki J. U & Dr. J. O. Adefila, 2014. "Contributions of Rural Non-Farm Economic Activities to Household Income in Lere Area, Kaduna State of Nigeria," International Journal of Asian Social Science, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 4(5), pages 654-663, May.
    3. Junior Davis & Dirk Bezemer, 2005. "Key emerging and conceptual issues in the development of the rural non-farm economy in developing countries and transition economies," Development and Comp Systems 0510017, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    rural non-farm diversification and employment; transition economies; livelihood diversification;

    JEL classification:

    • O - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth
    • P - Economic Systems

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