by Dr Gerhard P. Metschies / GTZ

1.  Introduction

Step child  Rural Transport is still to be called the step-child of infrastructure provision in Third World countries: nobody really feels responsible, but everybody claims it being of utmost importance. This holds true in particular for Africa, despite the fact that the main focus of international co-operation is directed to this continent since many decades, but many countries in Asia and other parts of the world are concerned too. This state of affairs applies not only to the provision of roads and tracks, but also to the use of appropriate means of transport such as vehicles, ox-carts or bicycles.
Great confusion 


In fact, one may talk about a great confusion among professionals, as even basic questions are by no means solved and haven’t found an internationally agreed answer: what defines a Rural Road, from where to where does it lead, who should be responsible, who should take care and pay for it. 
Alarming proportions This great confusion on the fate of this stepchild displays alarming proportions, as more than 80% of the population in Africa and 60 to 70% in Asia are still living in rural areas. In some countries, such as Ethiopia, the situation may even be described as being disastrous, as agriculture forms the productive basis of the entire country – and no decisive results, with the exemption of some trial and error, have been achieved so far.
Two key issues Alarm clocks aren’t always heard, neither by the responsible governments nor by most agencies of the donor community ; therefore we may now concentrate on the two key issues which are finance and organisation.
2. Survey and Analysis of Rural Roads in Asian and African countries.
Sources of information One of the main international institutions, dealing with transport and also with rural transport is the UN-ESCAP in Bangkok. Its research results give a valuable overview on the Rural Roads situation in Asian countries. Similarly, for the African continent the SSATP working papers of the World Bank give valuable information. 
Responsibilities They do confirm that Rural Roads may be the organisational responsibility of the central government as in the Philippines, of the provinces as in Thailand or of the districts as in Sri Lanka.
Missing efforts In Indonesia even "no effort is made to mobilise funds for rural road maintenance". The same applies to Sri Lanka, where no concerted effort is made to mobilise funds for maintenance through voluntary contributions or through taxes on agricultural produce. 
Central funding In Thailand funds come from government sources only and maintenance budgets for rural areas are about 20 to 25 % of the annual road maintenance budget. 
Global approach 


It should be noted, that in general no effort is made to handle rural roads individually or to establish cost-benefit analyses for them. The funding approach is a global one, mostly based on a per kilometre basis.
Basic needs Even in policy issues there are different concepts, ranging from a basic needs approach such as in India, where rural infrastructure (including piped water, electricity and rural roads) are provided nearly free of charge, to a more commercially oriented approach, where a productive infrastructure gets the priority before the social infrastructure.
Local stakeholders The Sri Lanka "village re-awakening scheme" hints to a special problem of rural areas: the often lacking motivation even of local stakeholders or "ordinary local people". 
Budget burden Where rural roads are paid out of general funds, such as in India and in Indonesia, they are a major burden to the government budgets, they amount to 13 % of the overall budget.
Paving of RR The question, whether rural roads should be paved or not, is controversial: Whereas in China 60% of the rural roads are paved, in Indonesia 55% and in India 34 %, the equivalent figures are in the Philippines and in Iran only 6 % and in Thailand only 2%.
  These different approaches may be found also in the Rural Roads projects of the GTZ in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
3. The rural roads approach by the GTZ - sector division
GTZ GTZ has experiences from rural roads project in Nepal, Bangladesh, Thailand, India, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Uganda, Chad and Costa Rica.
Two kinds of rural roads Rural transport is double faced: first it is a transport chain with one end in the agricultural fields and the other on the local market. But secondly it is also the transport chain from the main highway network up to the local market. It is important to note that both of these rural transport chains should be considered separately, as ownership and responsibility on the one hand and road standards as well as the level of division of labour of the transport systems on the other are different:

market tracks

The "farm-to-market tracks" (or roads in some cases) may have a very low daily traffic, which is done mostly by non-motorist transport. There exists no public ownership for these tracks. The division of labour between the owner of the load to be transported, the owner of the vehicle (or other means of transport) and the owner of the track didn’t yet take place.
Highway-to-market roads On the other hand the "highway-to-market" roads have higher traffic; they originate mainly at the nearest town and/or at the national highway network. These "highway-to-market" roads are the rural roads in the understanding of the government institutions, as the latter are - from case to case - the owners of them.
Indian Rural Access Programme The markets are often identical with major villages. The priority-ranking of rural roads projects is made in India through the size of the village. The first 20-year programme for rural roads in India started in 1943 and covered all connections to villages with more than 2 000 inhabitants. The second 20-year programme reached already all villages with more than 1 500 inhabitants. The ongoing third 20-year programme is underway for villages with more than 1 000 inhabitants. This practical approach may be considered a viable Asian approach to the problem.




Market rights 




... and market connection rights

But it should be noted also that there are countries - mainly in Africa - where this process of building villages did hardly start and that forced village-access programmes failed.  

The careful planning and location of new markets and the awarding of market rights to villages is one of the major tasks of the government (mainly of MOLG) and crucial to rural development. Generally speaking, the markets should be in a walking distance (single and return during the same day) of the rural population.  

Under the auspices of rural transport the official introduction of markets seems to be the key element, as the obligation to connect these markets to the state highway system will become the task of the government, while the access from the fields to the markets remains of the responsibility of the farmers themselves. The development of successful market places to social centres (with school, health station and administrative post) will often follow.




categories of 

local self administration

Experience shows that an effective management of infrastructure services to remote rural areas by central institutions is practically impossible. Decentralisation therefore is a must. At the same time it has to be recognised that the political possibilities for a local administration (i.e. structures to handle public funds) are quite different: 

In LLDC (with mainly subsistence agriculture) and LDC countries (as in most parts of Africa) local self administration is virtually non-existent, whereby India with the Panchyat system shows a tedious way to introduce local participation in community affairs. In Costa Rica, with its high economic activity (as seen also from the GNP) and its well structured traditional of local organisations, the way for local infrastructure administration is well prepared.

4. The financing concept for rural road maintenance (highway-to-market roads)
Credit worthiness 




Priority setting

The rural roads are expensive and therefore should become credit-worthy. The concept of credit worthiness of rural roads is basic and especially the question, which road standard is feasible, is based nowadays in most cases on economic considerations.  

In line with the provision of other infrastructure such as piped water and electricity, roads should also be commercially viable. That means that the size of the market and the market village as well as the size of the rural production of the surrounding area are the main criteria for priority setting in the rural network. The "official" neglect of the connections to smaller villages - as practised so far in India - and of most of the farm-to-market tracks has a major reason: the lack of finance. This means that in some cases the majority of the rural population – as in Ethiopia – will still remain excluded from road services for a long time to come, maybe some generations, if the time horizon of India is to be considered.

Principles of financing 




Self-financing Versus cross-subsidisation 

The financing of rural roads, which basically carry a traffic volume of up to 25 -40 vehicles per day, has to follow other principles than "normal roads", which carry a traffic volume between 100 and several 1 000 vehicles per day. While the road costs for "normal roads" represent on average only 10% of the vehicle transport costs, performed on the road, the road costs for rural roads represent more than 100 % of the vehicle transport costs (cf. Annex A5). In other words: while "normal roads" can be financed by the road users, rural roads are not self-financing, they basically have to be subsidised. This may explain also the reluctance of local and foreign donors to invest in this type of infrastructure; in addition one has to mention the short lifetime of rural roads, which - dependent on the climate - may last only for 5 years, a period which is often considered to be too short for bank financing. 







The split of rural roads 

(figure annex B1)

The degree of subsidisation may depend on the technical standard of the rural roads. Consequences in general are: 
  1. As they are "unprofitable" anyway, it is useless to carry out cost-benefit analyses for each and every individual rural road.
  2. Rural Roads of a country should best be handled globally, i.e. by the government or a central agency.
  3. Given the general budget constraints, the Central Government has to decide which sector should bear the cost for the rural roads: the agricultural or the road sector or both of them.
  4. Best practice is to split the rural roads also financially into 2 parts:
- part 1 as "highway-to market" road to be financed within the family of the highway network, 

- part 2 as "farm-to-market" tracks to be at the charge of the farmer/land- owner or - in case of a subsidised agriculture - partly of the Ministry of Agriculture 

(European case).




5. It may be noted, that this division of responsibilities for rural roads should not hamper the active role and task of the government/MOLG to create new and better markets on appropriate places in the countryside (although the charge of the access to the highway-to-market road shall be covered by the government). 
Asset Management 

for Rural Roads

6. Financing of "highway-to-market roads" is thus part of the National Road Sector. The goal of creditworthiness can only be achieved by a strict approach of asset management: it is an asset management of public property, whose first step is to maintain the asset values of the existing (!) market-to-highway roads. The location of the assets may be seen from the classification chart (Annex B1). 
Maintenance cost calculation: the two-cent issue 7. The annual maintenance requirements are listed in a chart, where - in the African "Ruined" example - a yearly maintenance rate of an average of 5% of the replacement value for earth roads is assumed. The detailed calculation (Annex B2-I: Financing Concept) shows that earth roads, although covering 68.5 % of the total road network length, represent only 14 % of the total replacement value and 28% of the total expenditure budget. These earth road maintenance requirements correspond to a general fee of 2 US cents per litre fuel in the African case. 
Road revenue 


8. The revenue calculation scheme for the roads sector (African case, see annex B2-II) shows how the required maintenance funds are generated by the annual vehicle license fee and the general fuel fee of 10 US cents per litre diesel and petrol. In many countries these amounts are paid into a Road Maintenance Fund established by law. As these funds represent road user fees and no taxes, they should be administered - if feasible - by an independent Roads Authority.
  A graphical summarising overview on "organising ownership and financing of the different road classes by the road fund" is given in annex B3.
5. Classification and financing of farm-to-market tracks
Agriculture as lead sector 

from subsidies to economic principles

Farm-to-market tracks and roads serve the needs of the farmers. Their use is dependent on the economic performance of the country (see guidelines of Annex B1) and the level of agricultural productivity. A successful approach for this road category depends on the general approach to the agricultural sector, which world-wide is changing from subsidies to commercial principles (graph in annex C1). This means that the increase of agricultural productivity and production is in the centre of the concept. In LLDC countries a change from the subsistence to the cash-crop economy is necessary, as this would nearly double the harvest output and generate the funds for new means of transport as for instance the bicycle.



Technical progress lowers transport costs. The traditional head basket transport is the most expensive if hired porters are to be employed, loading of animals cost a third of it and using animal drawn wheel carts may reduce costs again to a third. Transport by wheel-carts may cost as much as bicycle transport, but pick-ups cars are not yet cheaper, but more comfortable on longer distances. Their are price differences, if transport is made by ones own equipment, which is used in agriculture and for the transport to the market as well, if transport is made by third parties on the market-to-highway roads (see "Transport costs per ton x kilometre" in Annex C2). A further reduction in transport costs is only possible by the use of "bulk transport", i.e. consignments of 7 tons and more by medium and heavy truck transport, but which require a completely different and costly infrastructure of gravel and asphalt roads. 
Level of mechanisation Therefore different standards of transport means require different standards for the farm-to-market tracks. There is a general rule that the level of mechanisation of the agriculture should correspond to the mechanisation of transport on the farm-to-market tracks and roads and vice versa. This correlation of equipment standards for agriculture and the subsequent transport to the market is given in annex C3.


At the same time the level of use of labour in agriculture may correspond to the level of use of labour for rural roads, especially for the farm-to-market tracks and roads in general, but also for the maintenance of the higher class of market-to-highway roads. Therefore cost calculations of local labour are necessary (by the way: local labourers should be able to return home at the end of the day, as this reduces overall costs considerably). A comparison of minimum wages for different countries has been calculated. There is evidence that the level of pay depends mainly on the general productivity of the country, which may be measured approximately by the GNP per person. It has been found that all over the world so-called minimum wages (which may be applied to local labour in road maintenance) correspond to 40 – 90 % of the GNP per capita per day. This means that, after reaching a certain level the further increase of local wages is only possible through the general economic growth of the country. The overview (Annex C4) may help to identify appropriate wage policies for developing countries on a sustainable basis.
  This sustainable basis for rural transport in general may be seen in the increase of agricultural productivity, the latter being still the core problem of many countries, in particular in Africa. 
A. Basic Data A1. Organisation and Management of Rural Roads in Asia

A2. Funding of Maintenance for Rural Roads in Asia

A3. Road Network Lengths in Asian Countries

A4. ESCAP proposition of vehicle classification for Rural Transport
A5. Cost Distribution between Road owners and Road users

B. The Market Approach (Highway-to-market roads for motorised transport)

C. The Agricultural Market Approach (Farm-to-market roads, mostly for non-motorised transport)

Rural road development is the responsibility of the States. A number of agencies are involved in the development of rural roads. At the centre level, rural roads are looked after by the Ministry of Rural Development. Rural road development is the responsibility of kabupaten (District) government and centrally administered by Ministry of Home Affairs through its Directorate of Regional Development. Technical advice on the planning, development, and maintenance of rural roads is provided by the Directorate General of Highways, Ministry of Public Works. Rural road development is the responsibility of the Department of Public Works and Highways. Rural Road Development has been largely decentralised down to provincial and district levels. Procedures and organisational structures are being worked out. Rural roads are of the responsibility of the provincial governments.
Conclusions: 1. There is no general practice up to now, how Rural Roads should be organised and managed, centralised or decentralised. Rural Roads are a part of rural infrastructure, which is one of the main topics of the more general issue and process of political decentralisation.

2. It is however evident that the decentralisation of power requires a decentralisation of financial means as well. In Thailand they are centrally financed.

Maintenance funds falls grossly short of actual requirements. In some states, an agricultural levy is collected, part of which is used for the construction and strengthening of rural roads. Some voluntary organisations are involved in rural road development and mobilisation of funds for rural roads through voluntary contributions is recommended. No significant progress has yet been made. The funds available for rural road maintenance are about 50 per cent of the desired amount. No effort is made to mobilise funds for rural road maintenance. Based on the traffic, maintenance priorities are assigned to drainage, routine maintenance, periodic maintenance and up-grading works. Rural road maintenance funds are allocated on a per km basis and are dependent on a "basic cost per equivalent maintenance kilometre (EMK) of national roads". This cost is adjusted periodically whenever there is a substantial increase in the cost of road materials, labour and equipment usage. For rural roads, the maintenance allocation is 40 per cent of the basic cost per EMK. No effort is made to mobilise funds for maintenance by taxes on agricultural produce. Some times free or voluntary labour is used in some areas when funds are depleted. Starting form 1992, the maintenance as well as the construction of rural roads became the responsibility of local government where the road is situated. Funds fall short of the actual requirements. Funds are allocated on a linear kilometre basis, but the climatic conditions are taken into account. No concerted effort is made to mobilise funds for maintenance through voluntary contributions or through taxes on agricultural produce. Maintenance funds come from government sources only. Maintenance budgets for rural areas are about 20 to 25 per cent of the annual road maintenance budget. Voluntary contributions to maintenance are not made, nor are there any moves to mobilise funds through voluntary contributions.
* Source: UN-ESCAP, Study on the Determination of Technical Standards of Rural Road Transport, p.37

Conclusions for Maintenance Funding for Rural Roads:

1. The funding for Rural Roads follows quite different patterns: Sometimes no effort is made to mobilise funds for rural road maintenance, sometimes voluntary organisations are involved in funding. In some cases the agricultural sector pays for it through an agricultural levy.

2. Emerging countries like Thailand or the Philippines allocate funds from Central Government on a per kilometre bases, decentralise the execution of works or allocate 20% to 25% of the national annual road maintenance budget for the Rural Roads.

3. It should be noted that, generally, no effort is made to handle rural roads individually or to establish cost-benefit analyses for them. The funding approach is a global one, sometimes more or less parallel to the political decisions on other rural infrastructures such as clean water or rural electrification.

4. (Therefore funding and - eventually - the cross-subsidisation procedures of other rural infrastructure measures may display possible solutions for the necessitated constant flow of funds).

Roads by type and characteristics
Sri Lanka
National (km)  
Provincial (km)  
Country/Rural (km)  
Municipality (km)  
Others (km)
144 832
536 633
811 086
143 537
207 332
12 600
33 500
152 200
25 200
26 070
29 174
85 595
15 608
10 478
61 881
1 497
1 340
10 461
52 680
6 173
19 506
11 924
86 246
Total road length (km)
1 843 420
223 800
157 447
95 627
176 529
Percentage surfaced  
Rural road length (km)  
Percentage of rural to total road length
48 %
1 555 051
84 %
46 %
160 800
72 %
14 %
85 598
54 %
33 %
82 342
86 %
29 %
105 752
60 %
71.2 % (average)
Conclusions: 1. Rural Roads form a major part of the total road network of a country. According to UN-ESCAP definitions on average 71 % of the total road length are rural roads.

2. The definition of rural roads differs. The Asian ESCAP-study defines the connection from villages to markets or to the nearest road of a higher category as rural roads, but also those which directly serve farms.

Note: In African countries mainly the connection of the local markets to the main highways network (highway-to-market roads) may be defined as rural roads, while - in the case of a subsistence economy - the connection or way from farms to the local markets may not yet be defined as a rural road.


Vehicle class
Vehicle type
Small goods vehicle
Bicycle, motorcycles, cycle-trailers, oxcarts with pneumatic rollers, donkey carts and other NMT, pick-up: GVW £ 1.5 ton, length £ 6.5m, width £ 2.0m, and light trailer with GVW £ 1.0 t.
Light truck
Rigid light truck: GVW > 1.5 and < 3.5 t, length £ 6.5m, width £ 2.3m.
Light truck
Rigid light truck: GVW > 3.5 t and < 8 t, length £ 6.5m, width £ 2.3m.
Rigid light truck: GVW > 8 t and £ 12 t, length £ 6.5m, width £ 2.3m. Or farm tractor or traction unit with trailer: GVW > 1.0 t and < 8 t, length £ 7.5m and width £ 2.3m.
  Road Categories and Vehicle Classification* 
Road category
Maximum axle load (tonnes)
Permitted vehicle classes
Approximate technical road standard
Gravel road (20 cm base)
Gravel load road (10 cm base)
MAL 3.5
Drained earth road
MAL 1.5
Earth road (dry weather)
  MAL = Maximum Axle Load

* Acc to UN-ESCAP (Study on Rural Road Transport 1991, p.22) and GTZ (Ländlicher Strab enbau in Entwicklungsländern)


1. There is no general classification of rural roads world-wide and there are no standards for appropriate vehicles for these roads.

2. There are countries (like some Indian States), where the rural population expects that paved roads (or roads for normal trucks and buses) be built for them also (MAL category 8), while others (as in sub-Saharan Africa) may be "content" with being served by non-motorised means of transport or pick-ups, as long as an all-weather connection exists (MAL category 1.5).

3. There are big differences in the construction costs of the road standards as well as its life expectancy (also according to climate/rainfall and terrain). In Asia earth roads may cost:

Category MAL 1.5 costs appr. 15,000 DM/km
Category MAL 3.5 costs appr. 35,000 DM/km
Category MAL 5.0 costs appr. 50,000 DM/km
Category MAL 8.0 costs appr. 80,000 DM/km 
  Prices in Africa are considerably higher than in Asia

4. Because of its short life expectancy (often less than 4 years) and the involved maintenance problems, lower categories of rural roads are rarely financed by foreign banks.

5. The selection of standards for the rural roads is a most difficult issue and should only be done with the participation of the local road users and general political approval.

Cost relationship within the highway transport system
Vehicle costs versus road costs


How to read this graph:

Example: In the case of a road with an average daily traffic of 800 vehicles, the operation costs of the vehicles make up approximately 88 % of the total system cost (vehicles plus road). The remaining 12 % represents the costs of the road agency, for the conservation of the road as well as the recovery of the original cost of construction. In the case of roads with a greater volume of traffic (which are usually built to a higher technical standard), the road agency will undoubtedly have higher costs; however, the proportion of these costs in the total cost of the system is smaller.

Note 1: The figures used in this graph are the results of research works carried out by the World Bank. They refer to roads which are subject to optimum conservation.

Note 2: The ratio „Road/Vehicle Costs" shows that the cost of National Roads may in fact always be born by the user (as they amount to only 10 %), but with Rural Roads this is no longer the case (as they amount to 100 %-300 % of the vehicle costs). Therefore rural roads in general cannot be considered self-financing, but must be cross-subsidised from the General Road Maintenance Fund (preferably at a lump sum of 25 % of the total means of the Road Fund).



1. Geographical situation within the market system

2. Situation within the Market Economy:
Guidelines for Rural Road Standards
Type of Country Class
Type of
Farm-to-market track
Market Place
Type of
Highway-to-market road
Type of National or Provincial Highway
Footpath, trail
Earth Road
Gravel or Paved
LDC >250$
Earth Road
Gravelled Road
MIC >800$ Gravelled Roadg
Gravel Road
EC >3000$
Gravel Road
Paved Road
IC >12000$
Paved Road
Paved Road
Note: LLDC (Ethiopia), LDC (India), MIC (Thailand), EC (Costa Rica), IC (Germany)

Note: Farm-to-market-ways should be less than 6-10 km long (farmers may return the same day)

  1. Farm-to-market tracks in LLDC and LDC are mainly for NonMT (oxcarts or bicycle-trailers)
  2. Local markets are the changing points. The Ministry of Local Government is
responsible for establishing new and suitable market places.

ANNEX B2 The Financing concept of rural road maintenance

An African Example (Rwanda)

I. expenditure needs of the road sector based on the asset value approach

Road surface
Asset repla-cement value per km
Total asset repla-cement value
Total net-work value
Annual maintenance requirement
Yearly expenditures road maintenance
Rule of Thumb for National Road Mainte-nance Fund
tioning of fuel fee per litre
million $
% of Asset Value
$/km p.a.
million $
US cents
(8) =
Asphalt (surface treatment)
400 000
60 %
1.5 %
6 000
65-70 %
2 500
50 000
20 %
3.0 %
1 500
65-70 %
8 500
10 000
14 %
5.0 %
20-25 %
see note 8
Urban Road
80 000
6 %
4.0 %
3 200
10 %
11 000
100 %
2.5 %
  1. The value of 1 km of asphalt road (2 cm DST) is 400 000 $ (this is equivalent to 40 kg of gold per km of an African national road!).

2. The total Asset Replacement Value of 610 million US $ is equivalent to 41% of the gross national product of the country.

3. Costs comprise labour intensive routine recurrent maintenance and periodic maintenance. Maintenance for asphalt roads as "Resealing" is needed every 8 years and for gravel roads as "Refilling" is needed every 5 years, as well as spot reconstruction for earth roads twice per year.

4. More than 2/3 of the network are rural roads (earth roads).

5. According to length-men system: 2 men for 3 km (at 1 $ per working day + equipment + supervision).

6. This table is without backlog requirements for previous years and without new construction or rehabilitation.

7. General Road Fund fee in Africa is calculated as 10 US cents (cf. Heggie / WB) per litre.

8. Main result: out of the selling price of fuel of 55 US cents per litre only 2 cents are needed for Rural Road maintenance. This amount is needed for safeguarding the access to the productive centres of the country.

9. How the total expenditures of 15 Mio. $ are covered by revenues generated by the vehicle fleet: see next page.

10. Empirical assumptions according to road surface classes.

11. The total expenditure needs of 15 Mio. $ may also be obtained by generally applying 2,5% of the Asset Value of 610 Mio. $ of the total network.

An African Example: II. Revenue calculation for the road sector based on the Road User Pays Principle (UPP) for Rwanda (with 21 000 vehicles and 10 US cents fuel fee) 
VehicleRoad Fund revenue
million $
US cents/ litre
100 km
100 km
million $
million $
(4) = (2)x(3)
(8) = (6)x(7)
(9) = (2) x (5)x(8)
(10) = (4)+(9)
Passenger Car 
10 000
15 000
Small goods vehicles/
0 000
40 000
Trucks and truck-trailers
1 000
45 000
21 000
14.80 5).
  1) Vehicle density is 2.6 vehicle / 1 000 inhabitants at 8.1 Mio. population

2) Average annual licence fee

3) estimated

4) Fuel fee for petrol and diesel

5) Main Result: the total amount of 14.8 Mio. $ per Year, generated by fuel fee and annual licence fee is sufficient to cover the Road Maintenance requirements, including the appr. 4 Mio. $ p.a. for the maintenance of the Rural Roads




Markets and Productivity in the Centre instead of social needs

Rural Roads (comprising both the access from the farmer to the rural market and secondly from the rural market to the main highway) seen by NGOs mainly as the "Farm-to-Rural-Market" tracks or roads, but by governments and institutional donors mainly as "Highway-to-Rural-Market" roads.



Transport costs: An African example (Kenya):

Transport of 100 kg over a distance of 10 km (i.e. indicative cost of 1 ton x km one way)

Means of transport
On "Rural Market-to-Highway Road"
On "Farm-to-Rural Market Way"
DM per ton x km
DM per ton x km
Transport on head (basket etc.)
6.00 - 10.00 DM/ ton x km
( hired porters, exceptionally
as in mountainous terrain )
"Free" family labour
on distances up to 4 -10 km
Direct loading on animals 
(camels , donkeys)
3.00 - 4.00 DM/ ton x km
( hired animals)
1.50 –2.50 DM / ton x km
(own animals as used in agriculture)
Oxcart, horse-cart,
1.20 - 1.70 DM/ ton x km
( hired )
0.80 – 1.20 DM/ ton x km
( own )
Tractor and trailer,
Pick - up on tracks
1.20 - 1.70 DM/ ton x km
( hired, if full loading is given)
motorised transport only 
in advanced agriculture
Truck ( 7 t payload) on earth or gravel road
0.40 - 0.70 DM/ ton x km
(hired, if full loading is given)
motorised transport only 
in advanced agriculture
Heavy Truck on asphalt road 


0.20 - 025 DM /ton x km
( hired, if full loading is given)
motorised transport only 
in advanced agriculture
(data from different studies, 1980)
Note 1: Transport prices in Asia may be considerably, i.e. 50 % lower or even less than in Africa
Note 2: Transport from farm to rural market (3) generally is performed without division of labour between goods owner, transport business man and way owners, while from the rural market on to the highway and town (2) the owners of road, vehicle and goods are different.  ANNEX C3 CORRELATION OF MECHANISATION OF AGRICULTURE AND RURAL TRANSPORT
Rural road construction and rural transport
I. Subsistence Agriculture 
(fields of up to 1 ha per family)
Hoes, shovels
Wheel barrows, shovels
Harvesting small fields, hoes, shovels, hand trailers
Earth distribution for cross-section of earth
II. Cash Crop Agriculture
(up to twice the area and 2-4 times the harvest of subsistence agriculture)
Ploughing by Oxen
Transport by ox-cart
Transport to and from the field by bicycle trailers
Transport to and from the markets, road transport by ox-cart
III. Mechanised and Partly Motorised Agriculture
Ploughing (with hired tractors)
Compacting (with rollers) torn by hired tractors or motor-compactors
Tractors and trailers
Transport to and from the field
Transport to and from the market
Motorcycles and motorcycles trailers
Motorcycles and motorcycles trailers
Motorcycles and motorcycles trailers
IV. Industrialised Agriculture
(in Europe on more than 30 ha plots)
Motorisation and automatisation
Fully motorised and partly automated harvesters etc.
Fully motorised road construction equipment and heavy trucks
  1. The level of mechanisation of rural transport and rural road construction should correspond to the level of mechanisation of the leading productive sector, i.e. agriculture. The same applies to the "appropriate" motorisation: there may be no possibility for an isolated "Alternative" Technology in one sector only.
  1. Bicycles are typical for a cash-crop economy. But the use of bicycles - promoting the use of motorcycles - may drop with the increase of industrialised agriculture.
3. The introduction of bicycles and cycle trailers in rural areas is closely linked to improved agricultural techniques (spades, seeds, fertilisers, pesticides etc.).

4. Relating to human productivity, level of mechanisation, motorisation and the ability to pay for rural roads as well as the means of transport, the categories of subsistence economy, cash-crop and motorised agriculture often and generally correspond to the 3 road categories of earth, gravel and paved rural roads.

A world-wide survey on key ratios between minimum wages, average wages and GNP per capita, based on OECD, World Bank and GTZ figures 1
Daily minimum wage for 8 h work
Daily average wage for 8 h work
Minimum wage as % of average wage
GNP per person and per annum
GNP per person and per Day 
Minimum wage as % of GNP per per-son per day
(4) = (3):(2)
(6)= (5):360
(7) = (2):(6)
Belgium 53.87 89.93 59.9% 21 200 58.89 91%
France 52.31 76.14 68.7% 22 360 62.11 84%
Netherlands 51.07 96.72 52.8% 20 710 57.52 89%
UK 47.51 ---- ---- 17 970 49.92 95%
USA 40.89 113.02 36.1% 24 750 68.75 60%
Japan 36.98 79.02 46.8% 31 450 87.36 42%
Canada 35.02 91.68 38.2% 20 670 57.42 61%
New Zealand 28.93 54.79 52.8% 12 900 35.83 82%
Greece 20.31 39.51 51.4% 7 390 20.52 99%
Spain 20.13 49.58 40.6% 13 650 37.92 53%
Portugal 14.18 22.12 64.1% 7 890 21.92 65%
S. Korea 8.40 27.36 30.7% 7 670 21.30 39%
Poland 5.96 ------ ------- 2 270 6.31 94%
Turkey 4.58 16.53 27.7% 2 120 5.89 78%
Hungary 3.64 8.94 40.7% 3 330 9.25 39%
Czech Rep. 3.20 ------ ------ 2 730 7.58 42%
Mexico 3.02 10.94 27.6% 3 750 10.42 29%
Russia2 2.78 4.00 69.5% 2 000 5.50 56%
Namibia 4.00 ------ ------ 1 660 4.63 86%
Uganda 0.42     190 0.53 79%
Nigeria 0.40     310 0.86 47%
Tanzania 0.40     100 0.28 143%
1 Acc. to OECD list (FAZ 23.6.98), GNP 1993 of WB Atlas and figures from GTZ "Road Contractor Promotion and Employment Generation in Africa" Eschborn 1994
2 Figures for Russia calculated on the basis of FAZ reports of 29.6.98 and 25.7.98
3 As all calculations are in US$, purchasing power corrections don't apply.
Conclusions: 1. There is evidence that in most countries minimum wages are related to the general economic output or productivity, as measured by the country's GNP.

2. If Central European Countries like Belgium, France, Netherlands and UK are taken as a reference, it may be stated that minimum wages per 8 h working day may be fixed at 90 % of the GNP per capita per day of the country. 3

    3. The same applies to African Countries, although their GNP level is actually 100 times lower than in European countries.

    4. There are exemptions to this rule as the USA and Canada show only figures of 60 %.

    5. Some emerging countries like South Korea, Hungary, and Mexico display 40 % or less.

    6. The main source of variations within row (7) may be attributed to the UNDP indicators of differences of wage distribution within the individual countries.

    CONCLUSION: Minimum wages are fixed at 40 - 90% of the GNP per capita per day.


    The Road Management Initiative RMI and Rural Roads: financing and organisation:

    The main question is the ownership of rural roads. Rural roads are not profitable themselves; these roads have to be supported by somebody (like a step-child has to be supported). The main object is to define the procedures and methods to ensure ownership and financing. The local government is supposed to be the appropriate owner of rural roads as the ministry of agriculture has too few resources to cover this infrastructure. The examples of Zambia and Tanzania have shown that the Rural Roads issue may be incorporated into the Road Management Initiative and the Road Fund, which is closely linked to it

    Costs of rural transport:

    It is very difficult to define what is cheaper in rural transport - it depends on how to calculate it. It has to be based on the real demand and the real situation. (small loads - small distances / bigger loads - longer distances). It was felt that more detailed price information is needed for different countries in order to enable a comparison in labour-divided money economies the actual transport prices (in Us cents per ton x kilometre) for non-motorised and motorised transport.