The main objective of the research is to evaluate the significance of gmina local government in the field of agriculture and non-agricultural activity development in rural areas. To achieve this, questionnaires were designed and rural areas inhabitants were interviewed. The interviewees were farmers and entrepreneurs of non-agricultural business activity from rural areas of south-east Poland. The survey was carried out in 2007 and was directed to a randomly selected sample of 856 farmers — owners of individual farms — and among them there were 182 farmers - entrepreneurs. The analysis concentrated on activities of local government units realizedfor local development, in particular those supporting agriculture and non-agricultural entrepreneurship in rural areas. On the basis of the information gathered, we also attempted to determine those activities of local government that shall be intensified or taken in order to better use local resources for the development of rural areas and agriculture itself.