1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Rural Studies cutting-edge research that advances understanding and analysis of contemporary rural societies, economies, cultures and lifestyles; the definition and representation of rurality; the formulation, implementation and contestation of rural policy; and human interactions with the rural environment.
The definition of the term ‘rural area’ is based on social and economic differences and the criteria for it is subject to the context in which is being examined in different. Each country has developed its own definition of the concept ‘rural area’. In western literature, rural area is regarded as a distinct territorial community with villages and small towns to 30 thousand inhabitants. The Municipalities are the basic administrative-territorial units so we can consider the territory of municipalities with centres villages or small towns as rural areas.
Starting with an assumption of what appears to be true: that so-called economic crisis in the rural areas of Nigeria is now pretty well established as a fact of our age. The problems, poor sanitation, disease and hunger may still be ignored or scoffed at, but they cannot be denied. Concern for those problems has acquired a certain standing, a measure of discussing ability in the media and in some socio-economic, political, academic and religious institutions, this is good of course, obviously, Cant dodge to solve these problems without an increase in public awareness and concern. But in an age burdened with excessive publicity, have to be aware also that as rise into popularity, they equally rise into the danger of over simplification. To speak of this danger is especially necessary in confronting the economic downturn in the rural of Nigeria, which is the result, in the first instance, of gross over simplification.
The development of most rural areas are entirely on natural resources in the area, so that the economy of the rural areas is specialized in a limited of industries agriculture, livestock, forestry, fisheries, mining and rural tourism. The number of population in these regions ranged from 200 to 30,000 inhabitants. There are major differences between regions. People in rural areas have fewer choices in the social and economic terms. They are facing many problems such as low income, unemployment, low quality of social services like education and healthcare. Another characteristic of these regions is their
remoteness from major urban centres, implying the need for well-developed transport infrastructure to support economic development. According to the Law for Regional development of 1999 rural areas are defined as ’’municipality on whose territory there isn’t a city of over 30 thousand residents and population density below 150 inhabitants per square km’’. Other authors define rural areas as ” compact part of the national territory, including villages and small towns with main economic sector agriculture. Rural economy is largely dependent on available natural resources. In these areas are developed primarily agriculture, mining, forestry and other activities that constitute the main source of income for people living there. Other features classifying rural areas are: geographical position, natural environment, the number of population, the level of infrastructure development.
The number of population in these regions ranged from 200 to 30 000 inhabitants, and in some villages live only a few elderly people. According to their economic and social characteristics rural areas are developed and undeveloped. The second category includes mountainous, hilly and border areas. For classification of rural areas are selected six indicators that form the complex criteria for determining the type of rural area:
- Absence of large city with over 30 thousand inhabitants.
- Operating income per capita for two or three consecutive years is not more than 30% of national average
- The average annual unemployment rate for two consecutive years from three is more than 50% above the national average for the last year.
- Population density is less than 75% of the national average.
- Share of territory occupied by agricultural and forest areas are more than 20% above the national average share of agricultural and forest areas.
- Per cent above the national average for last year.
This complex criterion outlines two types of rural areas, developed rural areas and Under developed rural areas. As underdeveloped rural areas are classified those municipalities that meet the first three and at least one of the other requirements of complex criteria.
Dramatic changes have been occurring in rural America. Agriculture, which once
Represented a primary income source for 25% of the rural population in the early 1970s, now represents the primary income source for only about 10% of the rural population (Drabenstott, 2003). Although rural locations have disadvantages in terms of small market sizes, geographic isolation, and reduced access to skilled labor, technology, and equity capital, some regions still flourish with above-average levels of firm births and high-growth ventures, particularly in the retail sector (Acs & Malecki, 2003; Henderson, 2002; North & Smallbone, 2000a). Nevertheless, patterns of development remain uneven. Drabenstott’s (2000) analysis suggests that as many as 60% of the rural places in the United States did not experience economic gains in the 1990s. Porter, Ketels, Miller, and Bryden (2004, p. 7) note, “The general consensus is that rural areas in the U.S. are underperforming metropolitan areas, and that the gap is widening.” Furthermore while acknowledging that some rural communities in the U.S. have done well in recent years, especially those with retirement-based economies, regional trade centres, or scenic attractions, Atkinson (2004) points to pockets of persistent rural poverty in areas such as Appalachia, the Mississippi Delta, the Rio Grande Valley, and Native American Lands. Thus, research on the challenges of rural development strategies cries for attention.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
The world continues to encounter problems in terms of rural settlement, In rural areas several typically problems are aggravating and this problem have been orbiting the rural areas. Such as Low income and employment are among the main problems inherent in the rural areas. They emerge in several aspects: problems with the labour force, low labour productivity, and lower prices of agricultural products. Typical feature of the rural areas is the surplus of labour force due to fewer jobs that are opened. Most new job is for unskilled workers, so the wages and the nature of the work are unattractive. Workers with higher qualification migrate to the cities. In rural areas remain peoples mostly in retirement age. These problems can be solved because they affect people with their skills, initiatives and opportunities. Beside unemployment, another problem is the depopulation of the rural areas and strong aging. In rural areas there is low labour productivity, which may be increased by introducing more modern technology, upgrading skills of workers, providing better working condition.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTION
- What are the economic activities of Oriire Local government?
- Are there any development potential in the study area?
- What are the socio-economic characteristics of the correspondent in the study area?
- What is the causes and effect of economic activities and development potential in the study area?
1.4 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
This research aimed at studying the rural area economic activities and development potential of Oriire Local government, Ogbomosho Oyo state.
The objectives are:
- To analyse the rural economic activities of Oriire Local government, Oyo State
- To examine the development potential in the study area
- To investigate the socio-economic characteristics of the respondents in the study area
- To analyse and examine the causes and effect of economic activities and development potential in the study area.
Ho1: There is no relationship between development potential and economic activities in the study area.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study provides relevant information’s on the rural economic activities and, this will help in discovery of untapped resources and underutilized or under exploit resources in the local government of Illuju, Oriire Ogbomoso.
The information gathered will help in decision making and development of structure of framework in setting the Oriire local government economy in the path to growth and sustainable development. Hence, the data gathered by this research work will help direct and indirect investor in decision making thereby brings new investment to the region which will automatically affect the socio-economic characteristics of the natives and thereby improve life for sustainable living for human and its environment.