Decent Work and Economic Growth

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| Editors: Walter Leal Filho, Anabela Marisa Azul, Luciana Brandli, Amanda Lange Salvia, Tony Wall

Economic Importance of Agriculture for Poverty Reduction in Nigeria

  • Kehinde Mary BelloEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-71058-7_124-1
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Definitions

Poverty is a multidirectional socioeconomic problem. It is a major phenomenon in developing countries with different dimension and facet. It is a global issue which is prominent in sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries as it affects over 767million people living in extreme poverty while two-third live in rural areas (World Bank 2016). It is a state in which an individual is unable to cater for basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter, lack of skills, gainful employment, and self-esteem. In addition, limited access to economic infrastructure and social welfare like health care, education, portable water, security, deficiency of resources such as basic infrastructures: electricity supply, good roads, schools; asset and susceptibility to illness that leads to physical deprivation and hunger (CBN 1999; World Bank 2000). Furthermore, poverty as cited in Aderonmu (2010) is the lack of command over basic needs; undergoing insufficient level of consumption and the inability to attain minimum standard of living and high position in the society (Ravallion and Bidani 1994).

On the other hand, poverty can be considered as a “virus” which extends widely among populace in SSA countries. However, the “virus” must be eliminated or limited in order to attain growth and development in the region (Jamal et al. 2018). It is also a person’s discernment which is a function of his present experience, environment, and his definition of a good life (Fasoranti 2010). Aku et al. (1997) viewed poverty from five aspects: (i) individual deprivation of health, literacy, nutrition, education, and self-confidence; (ii) social deprivation in denial from participatory freedom in social, economic, and political activities; (iii) economic deprivation in denial of access to assets, income, and finance; (iv) cultural deprivation in relation to knowledge, beliefs, values and information; and (v) political denial of freedom in personal decision-making. Furthermore, as cited in Fasoranti (2010), poverty is a state of unconscious deprivation (Odusola 2001), the incompetence in carrying out certain activities (Desai 1992), and lack of adequate basic requirements of life (Oladunni 2001).

Introduction

A sustainable agricultural sector is responsible for provision of food for a country’s increasing population; raw material for industries; employment opportunities; and generation of foreign exchange for economic development. Agriculture is the major driving force for major countries in SSA countries; it stimulates sustainable rural development and enhances the living conditions of local communities (Corral et al. 2017). It contributes considerably to the growth of GDP, i.e., a unit change in agricultural output brought about 34.4% change in GDP (Olajide et al. 2012). Likewise, Ogbalubi and Wokocha (2013) found that agriculture contributed to GDP of countries like Argentina, 1.1%; China, 13%; Egypt, 13.5%; South Africa, 9%; the United States, 1.1%; and Nigeria, 26.8%. However, it provides labor force in Israel, 3.7%; Egypt, 32%; Brazil, 32%; and Nigeria, 70%. This infers that the richer the country, the lesser the agricultural contribution to GDP.

The importance of agriculture in poverty reduction and economic development is ambiguous. It was confirmed in China, a populated country of about 1.3 billion that enough food was produced for the populace through agriculture. Nonetheless, China is a major exporter of agricultural products in the world while its increasing agricultural output reduced poverty approximately a quarter or more (Jamal et al. 2018). In the case of Nigeria, the incidence of poverty has been on the increase since 1980 and the empirical evidence has shown that half of its population live in absolute poverty. Reports by Bello et al. (2009): poverty was negligible in Nigeria in the 1960s and the 1970s due to stable growth in per capita income. This transpired because most of the labor force were absorbed in the agricultural, public, and industrial sectors. But in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when oil price began to drop in 1982 and private income and per capita income began to decrease, poverty was triggered into the economy.

Poverty is one of the key hurdles to growth and development in Nigeria (Gangas 2017). The level of poverty is pervasive despite the increasing GDP which is not proportional. For instance, the poverty incidence in 2003–2004 was 64.2% of the population which implies that approximately 85 million people lived below the poverty line. Moreover, in 2010, the fraction decreased to 62.6%, giving a total of 95million people within the category (World Bank Indicators 2014). These have posed a threat to the general performance of the economy and cannot be overlooked in order to attain sustainable development. Nevertheless, growth and development cannot be achieved without attention to poverty reduction (Jelilov and Musa2016). Despite the rapid economic growth in Nigeria whereby GDP increased by 69.7% between 1992 and 2009, it decreased to 27.21% between 2009 and 2016, but the poverty gap ratio reduced from 31.1% to 21.8% from 1992 to 2009 (World Bank 2015). This infers that the fraction of the poor population has slightly decreased but a significant percentage still live in poverty.

The pervasiveness of poverty in different continent of the world are major concern and debate among scholars and researchers. Thus, intervention by governmental and nongovernmental agencies with international organizations, wherein public and private investment in agriculture has not been active and poverty has been prevalent in the past 30 years (FAO 2012). Then, with the new implemented SDGs, the countries have strengthened their commitment to end poverty and achieve sustainable growth by the year 2030. As part of this commitment, individual countries will have to pave its pathway out of poverty (FAO 2012). Therefore, an optimal agricultural performance functions to decrease poverty through price and income channels, hence, increase in the agricultural income will help to reduce poverty. Ogen (2007) as cited in Olajide et al. (2012) believed that agricultural sector possesses a multifunctional impact on a country’s socioeconomic and industrial sector. From the aforementioned, it is of the opinion that adequate and active participation in agriculture can effectively reduce poverty especially in the rural areas where there is availability of labor and land distribution.

Global Issues on the Economic Importance of Agriculture for Poverty Reduction

Poverty eradication was the first of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which was proposed to be attained by 2015. It was one of the paths to ensure that the new development agenda leaves no one behind. The successes of the MDGs proved that global action worked. Though, the MDGs helped lift billions of people out of poverty over the last two decades, its continuity will definitely aid the general future ambition. In accordance to these developments, the UN Member State adopted a new agenda: Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which is made up of 17 goals aimed at a universal transformation for a better world. Similarly, the foremost goal of the SDGs is also “end poverty.” This shows that poverty is a global concern that demands encompassing efforts to achieve sustainable growth. Accordingly, the international development community has ascertained that agriculture which is the main occupation of people in poorest countries is essential for economic growth and poverty reduction. Though, in eradicating extreme poverty, the key indicator is the proportion of the population living beneath the international poverty line of $1.25 which allows assessments over time. Schultz (1979) in (Cervantes-Godoy and Dewbre 2010) stated that “Most of the people in the world are poor, so if we knew the economics of being poor we would know much of the economics that really matters. Most of the world’s poor people earn their living from agriculture, so if we knew the economics of agriculture we would know much of the economics of being poor.”

Globally, extreme poverty is prevalent in rural areas in spite of increasing urbanization. In the present world, over 1.2 billion people are extremely poor, therein 75% live in the rural areas and depend mostly on agricultural activities like fishery, forestry, livestock, and other activities for survival (Andriquez and Stamoulis 2007). The percentage rate of poverty (however, not in all countries) has steadily declined in the past 30 years (World Bank 2008). According to the World Bank Report as cited in Umo (2012), agriculture is one of the most important options enhancing food security, driving economic growth, and overcoming poverty in SSA countries. The incidence of poverty is prominent worldwide but commonly dominated in developing countries such as South America, Asia, and sub-Sahara African countries. The majority of the population in SSA reside in rural areas and depend directly or indirectly on agriculture, wherein, higher level of poverty is dominated compared to urban areas. Mostly 75% of the world’s poor living in rural areas are dependent on agriculture, and this makes it part of the world environmental sustainability, poverty reduction, and economic growth strategies. In order words, agriculture can be seen as the most productive sector in lowest income countries as it contributes immensely to GDP in terms of the number of people employed (UNDP 2012).

It is of the view that on average, growth in agriculture reduces poverty more compared to growth outside agriculture. However, the benefit of agriculture over nonagricultural activities in reducing poverty is prevalent in the poor society but eventually disappears as the countries become richer (Christiaensen and Martin 2018). Agricultural productivity which is said to reduce poverty by releasing labor to nonagricultural sector also absorbs labor from less productive sector into agriculture (Kerr and Kolavalli 1999). When there is increase in agricultural production, the poor household gain directly as producers, as cost reduces more than price, consumers gain through lower prices or as agricultural laborers gain through higher wages and increased employment. Consequently, increase in agricultural productivity exhibit a larger poverty-reduction impact in comparison to increase in industry and other services (Ivanic and Martin 2018).

In accordance to this menace, social and economic intervention will be of great importance in limiting poverty (Marniesse and Peccoud 2003). The inspiration for the pronouncement was from the World Summit on social development held in Denmark, 1995 where countries pledged their obligation for global poverty alleviation (Aluko 2003). Currently, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank have been concentrating on poverty implications in the world and highlighted the gravity of the ongoing economic situation. In a bid to strengthen the repercussion in underdeveloped nations, different economic strategies and programs were lined out. Furthermore, international communities in recent years have delved into research on poverty in SSA regions with a view of providing lasting solutions to incidence of poverty; such are verified in “The Social Impact of Adjustment Operation in 1995 and Taking Action for Poverty Reduction in Sub-Sahara Africa in 1996.” These programs have saved the society from political and social turbulence which serve as impediment to development. Christiaensen et al. (2006) concluded that the critical entry point in effective poverty reduction is improving agricultural productivity. It was envisaged that agricultural technology and investments must be reckoned with in designing poverty reduction strategies.

Empirical Evidence

Theoretical statements in developing countries accentuate the role of agriculture for poverty reduction. Scholars like Nwafor et al. (2011) and Eboh et al. (2012) postulated that even though growth is essential for poverty reduction, it does not always lead to poverty eradication. However, SSA countries have witnessed exceptional economic growth in recent years; this did not translate into poverty reduction (Pauw and Thurlow 2011). But Dim and Ezenekwe (2013) and Tersoo (2013) are of the opinion that growth from the sector where poor people are actively involved (agricultural sector in the case of developing countries) reduced poverty faster. Growth in agricultural output can fuel rapid development in nonagricultural sector through direct and indirect means. Focusing on inter-sectoral linkages, Johnston and Mellor (1961) established the direct contribution of agriculture to economic growth through five inter-sectoral linkages: (i) food for consumption, (ii) labor for industrial sector, (iii) market for industrial sector, (iv) foreign exchange from agricultural export, and (v) domestic savings for further investment. In quantifying the link between poverty and agriculture, and providing a theoretical framework for enumerating the importance of various channels: (i) food prices, (ii) labor market, and (iii) farm income in six different countries, Bresciani and Valdes (2007) concluded that growth in agriculture is more poverty reducing compared to growth in nonagricultural sectors.

Omorogiuwa et al. (2014) investigated the impact of other channels of growth on poverty reduction in addition to overall growth rate of six low-income nations in Africa. It was found that agricultural growth was more effective compared to industrial growth because greater percentage of the populace (about 70%) live in rural areas. In addition, while the agricultural sector is providing more employment opportunities, the industrial sector fail in respect to unskilled labors. But Gollin (2015) argued that structural transformation of agriculture is an important consequence of agricultural productivity. However, increase in agricultural productivity provides food and employment and thus releasing a number of rural population for employment in rural areas. In addition, Schneider and Gugerty (2011) found that productivity in agriculture decreased poverty by increasing farm and farm incomes thereby creating employment opportunities in Africa. Timmer (1995) emphasized the indirect contribution of agriculture to economic growth as improvement in the quality of major factors of production such as labor and capital. Furthermore, Block and Timmer (1994) highlighted the indirect contribution of agriculture to growth as food security, increase economic stability, relative efficiency of household decision-making, and governmental learning by doing. On the other hand, Andriquez and Stamoulis (2007) acknowledged four channels through which growth in agriculture can aid poverty alleviation: (i) direct increment in income and consumption of small farmer, (ii) indirect reduction in food prices, (iii) indirect increment in income generated by nonfarm economy, and (iv) indirect increase in wages and employment of unskilled labor. Considering the direct and indirect effect of nonagricultural and agricultural sector, it was shown that growth in nonagricultural sector induced 2.85% poverty reduction while agriculture translated to about 2.24% reduction in poverty (De Janvry and Sadoulet 2010).

Cervantes-Godoy and Dewbre (2010) investigated the importance of agricultural growth in poverty reduction in 25 selected countries; it was found that agriculture is significant in lifting people out of poverty. In addition, growth in agriculture help in extreme poverty reduction and countries are richer as income inequalities decreased in Vietnam, Indonesia, and China. In South Asian and SSA countries, agriculture was found to be more productive than other sectors in alleviating poverty compared to Latin America and the Caribbean where agricultural productivity was driven by capital and created employment opportunities for employers (De Janvry and Sadoulet 2010). Ivanic and Martin (2018) evaluated the global implications of productivity scenarios. From the samples of developing countries, such as China and India, where large numbers of poor people are dominant, it was found that poverty implications of productivity improvement are broader across developing countries. It was realized that the effect of productivity gains for poverty rates are mostly not responsive to how developing countries participate in productivity improvements. It was revealed that when a country improves its productivity, poverty declines due to profit gained by the producer, but when countries advance their productivity, poverty also decreases at about the same rate.

Agriculture is the best alternative for stimulating growth, enhancing food security and eradicating poverty in SSA countries (Umo 2012). Nevertheless, due to the prevalence of increasing poverty and population in SSA countries (World Bank 2015), most people are dependent on relatives and friends for sustainability to maintain basic needs of life such as food, clothing, health care, shelter, and safety (Noko 2016). According to NBS (2010), agriculture contributed about 42% to GDP in 2007; in other words, agriculture is the firmest growing subsector in non-oil sector by contributing about 4.5% and 6.8% growth in 2001 and 2005. Activities that increase factors of production in agriculture will definitely sustain poverty reduction in developing countries (Nwabu 2016). All the same, in nonindustrial economy, agriculture plays a substantial role as a key contributor to export earnings, source of employment, and decent livelihood in the country (Adenugba and Raji-Mustapha 2013). It is an extensive consent that agriculture is of importance in economic growth and poverty reduction (Cuong 2010). Out of 1.2 million extremely poor in the world, most depend on agricultural activities like fishery, forestry, livestock, and other processing activities for survival. Yet, agriculture is the key to global food security and poverty reduction (Von Braun et al. 2008).

In the case of Nigeria, agriculture is the most important sector that deals with poor people majorly resident in rural areas. Agriculture has been realized as key driver of growth with high potential for poverty reduction. Consequently, in comparison with oil sector over the last three decades, agriculture is still and will remain the most important sector in the economy (Udofia and Essang 2015). Agricultural input to GDP is the largest contribution to non-oil foreign exchange earning which has not been stable over years. It also absorbs close to 65% from the labor force. Ogen (2003) resolved that Nigerian economy can be described as an agricultural economy and referred to as engine of economic growth. Thus, out of the total labor force, agriculture employ about two-third and serve as source of livelihood for about 90% of the population (IFAD 2010). This is why agriculture is referred to as “poverty base” since it is the sector that best touch the poor. Using a multiple regression analysis, Ijaiya et al. (2011) examined the effect of economic growth on poverty coupled with a difference-in-difference estimator that defines poverty reduction as a function of changes in economic growth. It was revealed that an initial variation in economic growth has no effect on poverty. Likewise, growth was positively related to poverty reduction in the long run. It was proposed from the study that investment in agriculture, good governance, steady macroeconomic policies, and infrastructural development are the essential element for poverty reduction.

Oni (2014) similarly investigated the impact of agriculture on poverty reduction. It was revealed that social infrastructure per capita, physical infrastructure per capita, and per capita agricultural GDP impacted positively on poverty in Nigeria. Nwankpa (2017) investigated the transformation of poverty eradication as a means of supporting economic growth in Nigeria. The result revealed that agricultural sector is the major contributor to growth in the economy. On one hand, Udofia and Essang (2015) clarified that the poor performance of agricultural sector was responsible for negative impact of agriculture in poverty reduction in Nigeria, while Kolawole and Omobitan (2014) revealed that food production index and government spending exhibited a negative effect on poverty reduction in Nigeria. Using Vector Error Correction and Principal Component Analysis, Messiah and Dankawu (2018) investigated the relative effectiveness of crop production, forestry, fishery, and livestock on poverty reduction in Nigeria. The result revealed that shocks to forestry, crop production, livestock, fishery, and agricultural activities exhibited a lasting effect on poverty reduction in future. Furthermore, in a review of the role agriculture plays in poverty reduction in Nigeria, Jamal et al. (2018) assessed the importance of agriculture to poverty alleviation. It was discovered that 70% and above Nigerians were poor in 2001 while 60% and above in 2010. In addition, agricultural sector employed 60% of the citizens. Furthermore, it was found that jobs were created and income were generated which aided poverty reduction. The study recommended agricultural productivity, marketing activities, and capital expenditure to control poverty.

The Nigerian Agricultural System

A country’s agricultural sector is the backbone for food security and a strategic developmental objective for a nation to survive and end poverty in future. It provides food and raw materials for rural and urban industrial sector. Moreover, insufficient food supply results in increase in price of food and raw materials which could translate into erratic demand for increase in wages and consequently poverty (Kolawole and Omobitan 2014). According to African Development Bank (2005), nearly 90% of Nigeria’s population are poor while their occupation is majorly farming. This deduce that increase in agricultural output can go a long way in reducing poverty wherein the sector plays an essential role in the development of the economy. The transformation from subsistence agriculture to diversified market economies with high-value crops will increase the share of agricultural value added and aid poverty eradication. In addition, the marketing of agricultural produce with high income demand elasticities, will enable the poor to participate indirectly in growth of urban regions, thereby transmitting benefits of growth and adjustment cost.

The consistent growth in an economy is a clear indication of the socioeconomic well-being of the people, while a deteriorating growth rate suggests a fall in the standard of living of the populace which aggravates into poverty. The debate strengthened by economics statistics and history in Nigeria is that the fluctuations in price of crude oil and subsequent decrease in export earnings shifted emphasis from agricultural productivity to crude oil. Prior to oil discovery in 1956, agricultural export was predominant in the economy. It generated approximately 64.5% of export earnings and contributed about 57% to GDP. In addition, agricultural sector absorbed the largest proportion of labor force, but with the swing to crude oil in the 1970s, agricultural contribution to GDP dropped to 23.5% and generated about 5.1% export earnings. Even though increase in economic growth can spur growth through income of the poor, it could be higher if economic growth is complemented by decrease in inequality, i.e., a greater share of growth allocated to the poor. In developing and emerging economies, agriculture is the major means of livelihood while majority of the poor solely rely on it (World Bank 2008). Consequently, economic growth is substantial in ending poverty if it influences the poor, either by connecting exiting activities to growth processes or changing the economic activities in the region. Consequently, the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) in 2012 improved agricultural output by 11% in the middle of 2011 and 2014 which advocated financial aid from commercial banks to agricultural sector. This motivated financing the sector up to 5% and reduced importation of food bills by N466billion. It then propelled the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) in collaboration with the Agricultural Promotion Agency Policy (APP) to accelerate achieving self-sufficiency and food security in rice, wheat, and tomato paste production. This plan was targeted to be achieved in promoting agricultural productivity by the year 2020.

The Nigerian agricultural sector has been an important sector in the economy both in the past and present due to its promptness in employment opportunities and contributions to growth of the economy. Presently, agricultural sector has been considered as the fastest growing subsector in the non-oil sector. It contributed about 4.5% in 2001 and 8.8% in 2005; also contributed approximately 42% to GDP in 2007 (Umo 2012; NBS 2010). However, the unexplored capabilities in agriculture will be of great importance in reducing poverty in Nigeria. In recent time, the marginal contribution of agriculture to GDP declined significantly due to neglect of the sector. Therefore, there is an urgent need to optimize the value chain to attain economic growth. In 2016, agricultural sector contributed 24.4% to GDP and 4.8% to export earnings. This record proves that there still exist great potentials in the sector in terms of availability of land, beneficial polices, and financial aids. With a huge total of 82 million hectares of land, only 34 million hectares have been used in cultivation, and the remaining hectares can be tapped into for better performance to promote poverty reduction and foster sustainable development. Although the abundant availability of land should thrust agriculture to optimal threshold, available statistics displays otherwise. The cause can be coined to typical emphasis on agricultural production rather than competitive and enhancement in agricultural sector.

Channels Through Which Investment in Agriculture Can Aid Poverty Reduction

It is of the opinion that advanced agricultural technologies induces productivity growth (Hezell and Haddad 2001; Thirtle et al. 2003). The growth is expected to be beneficial to the poor directly by increasing agricultural production and creating employment opportunities. Agricultural technology is one of the most productive economical investment government can use to alleviate poverty in a particular country (Alston et al. 1998). With technological advancement, agriculture has increased food production for the growing population thereby eluding food shortage or scarcity which can cause hardship on the poor (Plucknett 1991). Nonetheless, investment in agriculture is most effective in poverty reduction than investment in nonagricultural sector, especially among the poor (FAO 2017). This is particularly better in resource-rich and low-income countries like SSA countries (Christiansen et al. 2010). However, agriculture is a broad sector in which public investment, public goods such as infrastructure and service, agricultural research and extension, natural resource managements and property rights are avenue to improve the economy for sustainable growth and development.

The most important channels through which agriculture can function to reduce poverty is through income and price. Increase in income of farmers through adequate price of farm products is of great significance in improving their livelihood. Likewise, food constitutes a high share of the poor’s consumption expenditure, and therefore decrease in food prices might complement increase in food production which helps in reducing poverty (Cervantes-Godoy and Dewbre 2010). The enormous empirical evidences on poverty reduction via upsurge in agricultural productivity gives vivid evidence for indirect reduction through food prices and agricultural employment. Though some factors around the market forces are favorable to the poor, yet, there are evidences (Timmer 1995; Block and Timmer 1994; De Janvry and Sadoulet 2010) that support the theories that increase in farm income and real wages together with upsurge in employment and real income of farmers increases the number of people living in poverty.

The channels through which investment in agriculture can result to poverty reduction is illustrated in Fig. 1. Agricultural productivity enhances agricultural output which determines the prices of food. The price effect as a result of increased output at that point determines the income effect for the farmer. Consequently, the price effect propels signals to the producer towards the future output level. Then the labor market shifts the demand for food wherein the farmer can consume more or vice-versa. Therefore, an equilibrium in which farm income and real wages spurs the multiplier effect is attained, thus increasing the income of the farmer (or nonagricultural worker) and eventually decreases poverty.
Fig. 1

Channels through which agricultural investment lead to poverty reduction. (Source: Author’s Computation, 2020)

Effectiveness of Agricultural Investment in Poverty Reduction

Several agricultural investments contribute to poverty reduction and aid sustainable growth (IFAD 2016). The following points are considered crucial in meeting the aforementioned.
  1. 1.

    Farmer’s associations and organizations for better market facilities and networks.

     
  2. 2.

    Access to technological development that support employment and financial services concentrated in extension to rural areas.

     
  3. 3.

    Management and communication skills for prompt dissemination of information to farmers.

     
  4. 4.

    Participatory agricultural research and extension involving local farmers and farm leaders on new techniques of seed conservation, machineries for farm processes, pest control, preservations, and marketing strategies.

     
  5. 5.

    Development of market infrastructures in most poor communities such as electricity supply, good roads, storage facilities and warehouses, rural and urban connectivity, retail and wholesale markets, irrigation and drainage, water supply, alternative sources of energy, sanitation facilities, and telecommunications.

     
  6. 6.

    Financial aids and agricultural loans from financial institutions to support agricultural growth and development.

     

Recently, government pays more attention to agriculture more than ever before due to the benefit that can be tapped to enhance economic growth. In Africa, about 80% of agricultural production emanate from small farmers (Nwankpa 2017). In recent time, agricultural development is a technical nature which increases agricultural production, while growth in agriculture is also a channel for greater food supply and low prices of food for the benefit of the poor (Grewel and Ahmed 2011).

Conclusion

The end of the MDGs in poverty eradication has given a new insight into the role of agriculture in economic growth and poverty reduction. Therefore, in order to achieve the SDGs of ending extreme poverty by 2030, more practical strategies should be laid out to increase the income of the poor. Moreover, government should seek for beneficial techniques to foster income growth. Additionally, implementation of trade, agricultural and development co-operation policies to stimulate agriculture’s contribution to poverty eradication. It is obvious and clear that growth in agricultural income is important in stimulating the growth of overall economy and thereby ends global poverty. This is because agriculture is one of the most productive sectors in low-income countries in terms of its share in overall GDP, which can intensify the well-being of the people in long run.

The enormous size of agriculture in most African countries proposes strategic plans to promote agriculture at every stage of economic growth. The importance of agriculture cannot be overemphasized as it advocates the tactics considered in promoting early stages of economic growth. The Nigerian agricultural sector possesses vast potential in absorbing the unemployed if value addition can be inculcated to enhance its optimal level. The comparative advantage of geographical abundance should be applied in the production of products whose raw material are readily available like cocoa and nuts which can aid the exportation of finished goods (e.g., chocolate) to the Asian and European markets. Also comparative advantage exists in palm oil, cassava, rice, tomato, cotton, and livestock production which can boost foreign exchange, enhance term of trade, and provide employment to reduce poverty. Hence, policies that will enhance productivity in agriculture as a tool for poverty reduction should be targeted by the Nigerian government and individual private sectors in order to provide promising opportunities for poor people to eradicate poverty.

Cross-References

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsObafemi Awolowo UniversityIle-IfeNigeria

Section editors and affiliations

  • Sonja Rewhorn
    • 1
  1. 1.Open UniversityChesterUK