Transforming agribusiness for inclusive recovery, jobs creation and poverty reduction: policy reforms and investment priorities

Modern economic policy making in Nigeria has placed enormous emphasis on diversification of the economy to non-oil productive sectors. With the aim to restore economic growth following the 2015-16 recession and lay the foundations for long-term structural change, the economic growth and recovery plan (ERGP) recognized the need to diversify the economy to non-oil productive sectors such as agriculture and agro-allied industries, in order to build an economy that can generate inclusive growth and create jobs. This report aims to improve understanding of the potential of the agribusiness sector (primary agriculture plus off-farm agribusiness) to accelerate inclusive recovery from the 2020 recession, create jobs, and reduce poverty. A key early finding of the report is that the agribusiness sector is critical to accelerating inclusive recovery and creating jobs. The report builds on this evidence to identify the specific value chain groups that have most potential to create jobs, reduce poverty, and improve nutrition outcomes. Next, the report offers to highlight the complex set of factors that mediate the performance of agricultural value chains, distinguishing between issues that pertain to upstream primary agriculture, those that affect downstream off-farm agribusiness and cross-cutting challenges. The agribusiness enabling environment takes center stage in this part of the report, focusing on policy reforms around seed regulations, fertilizers quality control, warehouse receipts, and agricultural trade. Finally, the report takes deep dives to identify reforms to increase competitiveness in the value chains that were found to have the most potential to create jobs, reduce poverty, and improve nutrition outcomes.