Certainly agriculture and agricultural processing can speed rural development and create jobs for a better livelihood for rural people. It can also help to reverse the so far inexorable rural-urban migration that is proved too burdensome for urban areas and policy makers
Unfortunately, in Nigeria agriculture has failed to grow in spite of the rhetoric from policy makers. All the talk and no real progress? Agricultural growth has not reached anywhere near 5 percent in the recent years. In fact in the last quarter of 2020, agriculture grew at just 3.4 percent. Indeed on a quarterly basis, agriculture has not managed to crawl over 4 percent recently.
Well, to speed growth in agriculture, we need technology, access to low cost capital, access to markets and much human capital development. And then add to them farm to market roads and other infrastructure. You can call this, access to markets.
However, with some of the aggressive non conventional intervention by the Central Bank much relief should be underway.
Even so, we need attention to be paid to agricultural processing. Agriculture, as in just crop production, finishing, livestock and forestry is not helping much in reducing poverty. The case of the northern states of Nigeria exposes this problem. Much agriculture and still high-level poverty. As if agriculture causes poverty. What causes poverty is low productivity and poor human capital development. Rural people need help and now is the right time.