Agriculture and Rural Development

Course description

This course is designed to enable students to use the tools of economics discipline in order to understand the agricultural and rural sectors. It intends to provide deep understandings of key themes in rural development, how they evolved and how the changing rural development thinking influenced development intervention in practice starting with Karl Marx and moves on to integrated rural development and sustainable development. The course also explores major agricultural development theories and the role of agriculture, particularly the smallholder agriculture, in rural development. Moreover, the course also introduces the historical evolution of agricultural and rural development policies.

Course outcomes

Upon the completion of this course, students will be able to:

• Explain the theoretical approaches and perspectives of rural and agricultural development, and how past development perspectives induced polices fail to address the problems of third world countries.
• Critically analyze the relevance of agricultural development theories and the challenges facing contemporary agricultural and rural development.
• Understand the economics nature of smallholders agriculture and related challenges especially in developing countries such as Ethiopia.
• Critically analyze the evolution of agricultural trade and rural development policies and their relevance in developing countries such as Ethiopia

Course contents

Click the down arrow icon [ 🔽 ] to expand and collapse the course topics.

🔽 1 h 25 min | Introduction
  • Concept of rural development
  • Goals, objectives and imperatives of rural development
  • The role of market and state
  • The scope and nature of agricultural and rural development
  • Agricultural contributions to development
  • Agricultural development from a world history perspective
🔽 1 h 00 min | Theories of Agricultural Development
  • Growth stage theories dual economy models
  • The frontier model
  • The conservation model
  • The urban-industrial impact model
  • The diffusion model
  • The high payoff input model
  • An induced development model
  • Innovation system model
🔽 1 h 10 min | Evolution of Rural Development Perspectives
  • Pre-1960: Estate farms and modernization
  • 1960’s: Structural transformation approach
  • 1970’s: Redistribution with growth
  • 1980’s: Structural adjustment
  • 1990’s: Shift to process approach
  • 2000’s: Sustainable development
🔽 1 h 02 min | The Economic Nature of Smallholder Agriculture
  • What is a smallholder agriculture?
  • Household production and consumption decisions
  • Decision-making under risk and uncertainty
  • Subsistence agriculture: concepts and scope
  • Transformation of smallholder (subsistence) agriculture


This course includes:

    4 h 37 min recorded video

    Downloadable resources (books and articles)

    One year access

    Access on mobile and TV

    Advanced Level

    Certificate of completion


1 year of access
This course does not have any sections.
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