Broad-based growth is one of the four pillars of the Nicaraguan Government's Poverty Reduction Strategy. Living standards of the rural poor will continue to depend largely upon agriculture. This study takes stock of major developments in Nicaragua's agricultural sector and argues that broad-based growth can be promoted by strengthening agricultural competitiveness. Export growth is the key, requiring immediate action within a coherent strategy. The case of coffee is used to illustrate the proposed strategy. The study also identifies productivity constraints in rural factor markets, suggesting medium- and long-term solutions. The study reviews the issue of risk management and concludes with descriptions of some promising pilot projects.