OECD Rural Policy Reviews: Chile 2014

image of OECD Rural Policy Reviews: Chile 2014

This report looks at rural policy in Chile, examining the main trends in rural regions, policies and governance arrangements. It highlights the need to establish a national rural policy framework in Chile, in order to better coordinate the wide range of national policies and programmes currently targeting rural areas. It also investigates the evolving role of "rural" in development, highlighting the need to design rural policies in a strategic way so that complementarities with urban policy can be realised as the country develops.


Executive summary

In recent decades, Chile has experienced significant economic growth and social progress. A large share of national income and exports is associated with the primary sector, especially minerals, but also agriculture, forestry and fisheries. Yet there has been little focus on providing a stronger milieu for these industries at the regional level. Chile’s peculiar geography concentrates economic activities and settlement patterns in a few geographic areas, contributing to very high levels of regional inequality. More than half of Chilean regions with high degrees of rurality record GDP per capita below 75% of the national average. To resolve this problem there is a need to shift the rural policy vision from the current approach, where lagging regions depend on social programmes and agricultural and other sectoral policies, to a more comprehensive and integrated rural development programme. Chile’s current official definition of rural areas is not suited to a modern rural economy, where recognising the significance of urban and rural interactions, differentiating among different types of rural areas, and finally recognising and defining multiple types of rural areas are important considerations.


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