FAO made the official explanation in 2006 how the world understands the concept of rural development. Transition to rural development policy is the response to growing external pressure on rural communities in the process of globalization and competition for natural resources both within the certain country and outside. Leading experts emphasize that farmers, especially small family farms, entrepreneurs in rural areas and rural residents shall apply new strategies based on the self mobilization and mutually beneficial activities in different spheres of rural life. Agricultural production, environment, water, renewable energy, manual labor, services of rural hospitality (rural tourism), cultural heritage, organic farming, local products, direct sales from the farm should be combined in accordance with the formation of a new production system differentiated to the given territory,. Such combination of agriculture with other activities in rural areas helps:
- to involve rural population in the production and business activities in rural areas based on equality in the distribution of income received from the use of local natural and productive resources;
- to ensure rural development by creating conditions for the participation of local farmers in the formulation and implementation of local development;
- to promote business activities at rural areas in accordance with the principles of sustainable development, preservation of local human resources, traditional knowledge, soil, water resources, biodiversity, social networking, high-quality living environment and more.
Farming households and family farms play special role in achieving the objectives of rural development. These farms are linked inextricably with the domestic and global food security; they preserve traditional foods by promoting balanced nutrition and the conservation of biodiversity and natural resources. Family farming creates real opportunities for local economy strengthening, especially in combination with specific measures for social protection and well-being of rural communities.