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Pearce, Douglas (2000)
Publisher: Natural Resources Institute
Languages: English
Types: Unknown
The rural population of Central Asia depends on agriculture for a significant proportion of household income. Yet production and productivity levels in the farm sector have fallen, and agriculture cannot continue to absorb excess labour without rural income levels falling still further. Small and medium enterprises have a key role to play in promoting equitable economic growth and reducing poverty in the rural areas of Central Asia. The small and medium enterprise (SME) sector is relatively dynamic, interacts favourably with the farm sector, and has the potential to absorb excess labour in the farm sector, and to provide rural households with key additional sources of income. This paper assesses the significance of SMEs in the rural economy, and then builds on that assessment to analyse the policy and regulatory environment for rural SMEs. Policy responses to the particular challenges offered for SME development by rural areas are outlined. Practical recommendations for effective rural SME promotion by central and local government and governmental agencies are presented, with relevant examples and case studies where appropriate to provide a real world context.
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