3b) Differentiation in time and space

The bottlenecks and key-factors pointed out are the starting point of activities for tackling the problem of rural poverty. However, integrated rural development cannot be understood as a big pot in which all shortcomings are poured and stirred up. Even after adding many ingredients, such a soup will not taste good. Because of limitations in resources and capabilities, all the necessary tasks cannot be undertaken simultaneously. Bottlenecks have to be recognized accordng to their relative importance. The first problem to be dealt with is the creation of the minimum requirements for development, and then the gradual expansion of the activities can follow.

In this connection, a reasonable proportion of activities (for increasing production as compared to those for improving the social conditions is of the utmost importance. Here, the fact that projects for infrastructure and social amenities are easier to implement than those to increase production plays a role. Likewise, the necessary time-span for results to be achieved has to be taken into account. It will be longer as regards infrastructure and social projects.

On the other hand, a minimum of infrastructure is a precondition for an efficient division of labour in the economic process. Only a network of communication makes it possible to create, between rural areas and urban centres, relations which allow each to contribute to the requirements of the other according to its capabilities. Such a process of differentiation of structure and integration of function at the regional level means the creation of a larger economic system which has a greater potential than the small global society of a subsistence economy.