Rural development programmes are multi-sector and the development of road infrastructure is linked to specific commercial opportunities which justify the initial road or track investment under the project. The size of the market and market village, as well as the rural production in the surrounding area, are the main criteria for constructing the farm to market network. It is possible to build a producer fee for road maintenance into the project so that the farm to market road infrastructure is sustainable in the long term. Such a commercial approach is elaborated by a study by Dr. Gerhard Metschies of GTZ (See Key Document below).
In India, where rural roads are paid from general funds, the priority ranking for rural road construction is based on village size. The first 20-year rural roads programme (1943) covered all connections to villages with inhabitants of more than 2,000; the second reached villages with more than 1,500 and the current goal is all villages with 1,000 inhabitants.
Maintenance funds for the rural road network fall far short of requirements. In some states, an agricultural levy is collected, part of which is used for the construction and strengthening of rural roads, whilst also addressing the funding deficit. Elsewhere, some voluntary organisations are involved in rural road development and gather funds through voluntary contributions.
- Metschies Gerhard, GTZ, "Rural Roads - A Market Approach Concepts for Finance and Organisation", September 1, 2008.