The assignment would attempt to define ’Pro Poor Growth’, analyse the role of agriculture in addressing the problem of poverty with more emphasis on the current agricultural policy in Nigeria. It would be ascertain whether those policies saw the light of the day and some remedies will be suggested as a way forward. PR-POOR GROWTH:
In some literature, growth is termed Pro Poor when incomes of the poor grow at a higher rate than those of the non-poor people. In the same vein, a recession may be deemed Pro Poor if people lose proportionately less than others, regardless of their worse position. This perception dwells on the distributional shift during the growth process. In another opinion, Pro Poor is simply an act that reduces poverty. See Ravallion and Chen 2003. this view focuses its attention specifically on what happens to poverty. In other words, the extent to which growth is Pro Poor depends on how much a chosen measure of poverty changes, partly on what happens to distribution, and partly on what happens to average living standard. Also in the view of Kakwani and Pernia (2003), pro Poor Growth is defined ‘as one that enables the poor to actively participate in and significantly benefit from economic activity. This implies a growth path that is labor intensive and concentrated in rural areas i.e. a growth that targets the poorest amongst the population. What is therefore necessary for poverty reduction is a strategy of Pro-Poor Growth is combined with reductions in inequality. AGRICULTURE FOR PRO-POOR GROWTH.
There is a mass of evidence that, increasing agricultural productivity has benefited millions of people through higher incomes, more plentiful and cheaper food, and by generating patterns of development that are employment intensive and benefit both rural and urban areas. It is part of a major option of the UK department for international development’s effort to reduce global poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals. It is fundamental to the sustenance of life and is the bedrock of economic development. Agriculture may not be the only condition but, a necessary condition for pro poor growth as it connects economic growth and the rural people, stimulating growth in the non-farm economy, etc. in the context of the economy, agriculture is tied with the various sectors and is essential for generating broad-based growth necessary for development. Consequently, the Pro-Poor possibilities of agriculture are a policy option of some interest in the economic development. It is evident that no poor country has ever successfully reduced poverty through agriculture alone, but almost none have achieved it without first increasing productivity. However, it is skeptical as to whether agriculture can deliver growth giving challenges concerning globalization factors, such as climate change, an inequitable global trading system, depressed commodity prices, HIV/AIDS, etc. It is all glaring that farmers in Africa and other priority areas would overcome these challenges and achieve development. AGRICULTURE IN NIGERIA:
The Agricultural history of Nigeria is intertwined with its political history. The period of colonial administration in Nigeria, i.e. 1861-1960 was punctuated by rather ad hoc attention to Agricultural development. The post 1960 period was one of extensive planning and regional competition in agriculture. Before the mid of 1960’s, a Federal Ministry of Agriculture and natural Resources was set up and a face of consolidation and coordination of projects of agricultural development began. Between 1976 and 1980, there were a number of notable Agricultural development activities such as Operation Feed the Nation (OFN), River Basin and Rural Development Authority (RBRDA), and Green Revolution Programme. All these and lots others sought to improve food production. There was also another Agricultural...