This paper re-visits the age old proposition that agriculture growth contributes to overall economic development, and asks whether the relationship still holds in an increasingly globalized world. There is overwhelming empirical support for the above proposition, indeed, it is hard to find exceptions, barring a few city states, where sustained economic development has not been preceded by robust agricultural growth. However, there are a large number of countries that have witnessed neither agricultural growth nor economic development. Even in countries where agricultural growth has been significant, dramatic inter-regional differences persist. This paper examines the factors that contribute to or constrain the process of agricultural transformation. Does the process of globalization, and the resultant changes in agrifood systems, offer new opportunities for agriculture led growth, or will it further marginalize excluded countries, regions and groups? The factors that cause exclusion are examined both in terms of globalization forces and in terms of domestic shortcomings in policies and governance. Policy interventions that attempt to reduce the costs of transition to a globalized agricultural system are explored, including safety nets for those left behind.