1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
According to Aniker (1973), rural management is the strategies, policies and programs for the development of rural areas and the promotion and empowering of activities carried out in such areas as rural crafts, fishing, buildings and social infrastructures with the ultimate aim of achieving a fuller utilization of available physical and human resources and yield higher incomes and better living conditions for the rural people and effective participation of the later in the development process.
Nigeria, a country in West African sub-region is blessed with abundant natural and material resources. With an estimated current population of over nine hundred and twenty four thousand (924, 000) square kilometers, Nigeria is unarguably the most populous country in African and one of the largest in terms of geographical area. About seventy percent (70%) of the population depend on agricultural activities for their livelihood and live in rural communities. Currently, over forty million (40,000,000) out of the total population of over one hundred million (100,000,000) people live in urban area. Therefore, the rural area within the geographic entity of the country is whereby majority of the population is found.
The country is passing through a social economic and technological revolution which is separating rural development from merely agricultural development. Rural development and agricultural development have been considered synonymous but agriculture is by no means the only possible occupation for the rural dwellers and therefore there is the need to distinguish between rural management and agricultural development. New and broader views have emerged which distinguished rural lands development and management from merely agricultural development.
Rural land management is not merely agriculture and economic growth alone but also a strategy, policy and program designed to improve the economic and social life of the people in the rural areas. In this vain, it implies a modernization which would not only increases the productive capacity but also change attitude and need to replace the sense of dependence on the natural environment by the desire and a broody to manipulate it.
The above assertion reveals that the ambit of rural management is very wide indeed. It therefore includes generation of new employment, more equitable access to arable lands, equitable distribution of income, wide spread and improvement in health, housing, maintenance of law and order, creation of incentives and opportunities for individuals to realizes their full potentials through education and sharing in the decisions and actions which affect their general lives.
Rural management has been pursued by rural people themselves, government, different institutions and organizations. Though, in rural management we are primarily concerned with people who are engaged in agricultural pursuits, the peoples’ immediate and pressing problems are not all concerned with food. The most pressing need of the rural people were for more roads, schools, community halls, also good drinking water, rural electrification and industrialization amongst others.
Hence, rural development has been approached by the government and people in one or more of the following ways:
- Provision of incentives and means of raising agricultural productivities.
- Providing suitable opportunities for widening the base of gainful employment in the rural areas through such schemes as rural industrialization and other non – farm activities oriented towards local needs.
- Providing rural areas with means and facilities (schools, recreation centres, hospitals, pipe borne water, electricity, etcetera) for realizing with an urban standard of living in their places of residence.
Thus, in discussing the objectives of a sound rural management, (Rural Management Authority) RMA noted the following three important features:
- Improving the standards of living of the rural population which involves mobilization and allocation of resources so as to reach a desirable balance in relation to the welfare and productive services available to the rural sectors.
- Mass participation requires that resources be allocated to low income regions and classes and that the productive and social services actually reach them.
- Creation of employment opportunities.
In addition to, some rural management proponents suggest that the major objectives of rural management should be a non–economic goal that is “rural as quality of life” which gives primacy to environmental quality. Other proponents suggest that the “empowerment” of local citizens is the most appropriate goal for rural management activities that require that local people and institutions develop the capacity to manage rural development.
1.2 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The aim of this research is to examine rural management as a strategy for reducing rural–urban migration in Nigerian having Auchi, Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State as a case study.
The objectives of this study are as follow:
- To identify the needs why the rural areas should be developed in Nigeria.
- To identify rural development programmes /projects available in the study area.
- To find out why people in the rural areas migrate to urban areas.
- To examine the extent of rural urban – migration.
- To identify the general problem faced by the rural population.