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Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition • FSN Forum

Re: Rural migration, agriculture and rural development

Alexander Sagaydak
Alexander SagaydakState University of Land Use PlanningRussian Federation

The use of labor force in agriculture derives from the nature of the agricultural production and characterizes as follows: unevenness in the use of labor related to the seasonality of agricultural production; heavy working conditions determined by the unfavorable impact of climatic factors; lack of adequate social infrastructure in rural areas; the necessity of high qualification, since the agricultural workers are dealing with biological objects (plants, animals) that makes high demands on the quality of work; the demand for timely implementation of technological operations which is determined by the cycles of development of plants and animals; low social valuation of agricultural labor; extensive use of low paid labor of women and pensioners as well as teenagers; low level of mechanization and automation of agricultural production; relatively low labor productivity in agriculture compared to other branches of the national economy; the demand to attract significant numbers of seasonal and temporary workers in the rush periods; low prestige of labor in agricultural production among young people due to the lack of 8-hours working day and high volume of unskilled work as well as low wage. Heavy working conditions in agriculture and relatively low pay compared to other sectors of the economy as well as lack of adequate social infrastructure in countryside leads to migration of rural population to cities. We can treat migration of rural population to cities is a process of movement of large groups of rural inhabitants into urban settlements due to political, financial, economic and environmental as well as social factors. Migration of the rural population and especially young people to cities has negative socio-economic consequences, which should include the following: exacerbating the shortage of labor force in agriculture; in the absence of administrative restrictions leads to uncontrolled growth of cities; causes the appearance of illegal, spontaneous settlements within the boundaries of the cities; leads to aggravation of environmental situation in cities; leads to aggravation of traffic and transportation problems in cities; leads to increased tension in the social, racial and ethnic relations in cities;stimulates the growth of unemployment in the cities; leads to aggravation of criminal situation in cities. Migration is also influenced by the land and agricultural policy and, above all, the consolidation of agricultural land. Agricultural Land Consolidation is a merging, enlargement, eliminating of mosaic land ownership and improvement of configuration as well as optimization of size of land plots in order to increase the efficiency of agricultural production via rational use of scare resources: land, labor and capital based on reduction of transaction costs. However, land consolidation in agriculture has both positive and negative consequences. The positive side of consolidation of agricultural land includes improving the efficiency of agricultural production, effective use of modern, highly productive agricultural machinery, rational use of scare land, labor and financial resources. Negative effect of land consolidation in agriculture includes the reduction of the demand of the agrarian sector in the labor force that acts as one of the reasons for migration of rural population to cities as well as the degradation of social infrastructure in rural areas.