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The objectives of this paper are to (1) specify what “rural”, “community”, and “development” mean, and (2) what should be the essential steps to be taken to achieve an effective rural community development. Rural is a territorial concept, and it means an extent of dispersion of people in a local ecology. Community is a natural disposition among people who interact with one another on different matters that compromise a common life. Development is an organized intentional effort of local people to work together towards a shared goal. Community development is building the capacity of community residents to act effectively and collectively to solve their common problems and pursue their common interest. Three essential steps, local level efforts, federal and state government level efforts, and science and education level efforts, to achieve rural community development are posited and explained as solutions to rural community development in the Black Belt.


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