Joshi calls for collaboration among CIRDAP member countries for rural Development

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Dhaka, Jan 28(ANI): Union Rural Development Minister C.P. Joshi has called for collaborative arrangement among the link institutions of Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) member countries in training and research for concerted efforts on rural development.

Addressing the second ministerial level meeting of the CIRDAP Member Countries (CMCs) held on Wednesday in Dhaka, he said sustainable rural development should address various factors, such as enhancement of the livelihoods of the rural poor and increase in their productive capacity

He also asked to concentrate on gene ratio of durable community assets, assimilation of new technologies in production and marketing, access to sub-national, national and global markets for the rural producers, creation of sensitivity towards sustainable investing of natural resources as well as canalizing of consumer preference towards items produced by the rural producers.

"Rural development has been the prime focus of all these Plans which inclusive growth as the main strategy towards improving the quality of life of the rural people accounting for almost 70 percent of our population. The allocation of funds for the rural development programmes has seen quantum jumps through successive five year plans," Joshi said.

"The rural development plan is conceived not only to provide an adequate level of food security and other essentials, but access to basic social services, especially education, health, drinking water and sanitation. It also aims at the expansion of economic and social opportunities for all individuals and groups, reduction in disparities and greater participation by people in decision-making process," he added.

He also highlighted that with a planned approach to rural development, India has been able to bring down the percentage of rural people living below poverty line from 37.3 in the year 1993-94 to about 28.3 by 2005.

"Our programmes focus on poverty alleviation through wage and self-employment schemes as also on upgrading rural infrastructure and basic amenities. Our Government has launched a number of poverty alleviation/employment generation progammes and related basic service programmes to alleviate poverty and provide employment opportunities in the rural areas," Joshi said.

Joshi also reaffirmed India's commitment to CIRDAP, which has been performing a very useful role in promoting the regional cooperation to achieve the common goal of eradication of poverty in the third world countries of the region.

"No doubt, there is ample scope for further expanding and strengthening the cooperation. I hope, this Ministerial Meeting would deliberate and evolve sound understanding among the Member Countries on specific ways and means in the direction," he said. (ANI)

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