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Over the years there has been this hue and cry by government and the public poli...


Over the years there has been this hue and cry by government and the public policy advisers against the phenomenon of the rural-urban drift. Researches have been conducted on various aspects of this phenomenon which have resulted in the identification of the various causes and consequences of drift. In addition, prescriptions have been given for controlling the rural-urban drift.

Among the causes most often mentioned are population pressures in some rural areas resulting in dwindling farm lands; increase in school enrollment and the resultant rise in education levels which qualify many people for urban employment, higher wages in the urban centres relative to rural centres and the rather naïve one of the ‘bright lights’ in the cities so much touted by early foreign sociologists.

The most often mention consequences of this rural-urban migration includes depopulation of the rural area leading to overcrowding of the cities and the resultant housing and sanitation problems; decline in the agricultural population resulting in less food crops being grown and high food prices in the cities, and increasing urban unemployment. The results of the phenomenon are seen largely as negative

Measures to control the rural-urban drift includes the establishment of essential amenities like water, electricity, hospitals, colleges, and cinema houses; the location of employment generating establishment and the building of good interconnecting roads.

The sum total of these prescriptions in essence, unwittingly or paradoxically, is for the rural areas to be transformed into urban centres. This is so because to industrialize the rural areas would draw many more people out of agriculture than if industries were restricted to urban centres

When industries are located in the rural areas, it involves much less cost for the prospective rural-urban migrant to change to a non-agricultural job, than is involved in his leaving a rural abode for a distance urban centre.

Therefore, rural industrialization holds a higher potential for the de-agriculturalization of the rural population than when industries are concentrated in urban areas.

The phenomenon of rural-urban migration has been intensively and extensively researched and studied, but it would seem that it has largely been misinterpreted and misunderstood. Consequently public policies on the subject have been misdirected.

One suggested solution to the problem is to


A) provode social amenities and create employment opportunities in rural areas

B) encourage mechanized agriculture in order to raise income

C) force the young rural people to stay by warning them about the problems in the cities

D) mount road blocks

E) lower the level of education in rural areas and increase qualification for employment in the cities

The correct answer is A.

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