India lives in its villages, nearly 73 % of the total population live in rural areas where agriculture and allied activities are the main stay of their lives. The economic development of our country largely depends on the development of rural areas and the standard of living of its rural mass.
Indian agriculture is characterized by low productivity, exposure for vagaries of nature like drought, flood, other natural disasters and weaknesses like mismatch between agricultural and cash crops, inadequate infrastructure to provide for value addition, wide disparity in public-private partnership in agricultural development.
Land being limited is unable to absorb the entire labour force throughout the year leading to large scale unemployment and underemployment.
Rural people, in search of jobs, often migrate to urban centre’s creating unwanted slums and live in unhygienic conditions of living.
A turn around is possible in the above trend if employment opportunities are made available in rural areas along with basis amenities of life. The real solution to India’s economic problem is not mass production but production by masses as was suggested by Mahatma Gandhi.
Rural industrialization through the development of rural entrepreneur seems to be the answer to poverty, unemployment and back-wardens of Indian economy.
Government of India in its successive five year plans has been assigning increasing importance and support for the promotion and development of rural entrepreneurship.
Meaning and Definition:
In simple words, rural entrepreneurship implies entrepreneurship emerging in rural areas. In other words establishing industries in rural areas refers to rural entrepreneurship. This means rural entrepreneurship is synonymous with rural industrialization.
(i) According to Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC)
“Village industry or rural industry means any industry located in rural area, population of which does not exceed 1000 or such other figure which produces any goods or renders any services with or without use of power and in which the fixed capital investment per head of an artisan or a worker does not exceed a thousand Rupees”.
(ii) According to the Government of India:
An industry located in rural area, village or town with population of 20,000 and below and an investment up to Rs. 3 corers in plant and machinery, land and building is classified as village industry.