The rural areas and small towns of Africa, Asia and Latin America are undergoing a transformation, unprecedented in speed, depth, and scope. This transformation affects the lives of about 4.6 billion people who work 60 percent of the world’s arable land and produce almost two thirds of food and non-food agricultural products. Defined as a process of comprehensive societal change, rural transformation results in:
- diversification of rural economies by reducing their reliance on agriculture;
- increase dependence on distant places to trade goods, access services and ideas;
- movement to towns and small/medium cities;
- and, cultural assimilation into large urban agglomerations.
Each country experiences a different process of rural transformation. Global and local factors play a role in the process, and the outcomes, such as, economic growth, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability.
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