A list of cash crops in Nigeria and where they are produced

A list of cash crops in Nigeria and where they are produced

Agriculture is one of the most important sectors of Nigeria's economy. More than 70% of the labour force is concentrated in agriculture. It mainly depends on the small and scattered agricultural farms. The products that they yield are divided into two groups - food crops and industrial crops. The latter can also be referred to as cash crops or export crops. Here are examples of cash crops in Nigeria.

examples of cash crops in nigeria
Harvested coffee and wheat plants. Photo: pexels.com, @Livier Garcia, @Deneen LT (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Cash crops are an essential component of Nigeria's agricultural sector and economy. These are crops primarily grown for sale in local and international markets. Below is a list of cash crops in Nigeria and where they are found.

What are cash crops?

Cash crops are crops grown primarily for sale in the market rather than for personal consumption or subsistence. These crops are cultivated to generate income.

List of cash crops in Nigeria and their location

Cash crops have significantly shaped Nigeria's economy, trade, and overall agricultural landscape. Here are examples and pictures of cash crops in Nigeria.

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1. Oil palm

Nigeria is one of the world's leading producers of palm oil. Oil palm cultivation is widespread, especially in the southern part of the country. Palm oil is a versatile product used in various industries, from food processing to cosmetics.

In Nigeria, the major oil palm-producing states include Enugu, Imo, Ondo, Edo, Cross River, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Ekiti, Bayelsa, Rivers, Anambra, Oyo, Abia, Edo and Ogun State.

2. Cotton

Cotton is grown in northern Nigeria and is an essential raw material for the textile industry. However, cotton production in Nigeria has faced challenges due to factors like pest infestations and inadequate infrastructure.

Major states where cotton is grown are Kano, Kaduna, Oyo, Ondo, Kwara, Katsina, Jigawa, Ogun, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara state.

3. Cocoa

Nigeria is also a major producer of cocoa beans, the primary raw material for chocolate production. Cocoa cultivation is prevalent in the southwestern and southeastern regions of Nigeria.

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Cocoa is Nigeria's foremost agricultural export, with the following states being the primary cocoa-producing regions: Edo, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Ogun, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Ekiti, and Delta.

4. Cassava

list of cash crops in nigeria and their location
Harvested cassavas. Photo: pexels.com, @Marcio Skull, @Daniel Dan (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Cassava is one of the most important root crops in Nigeria. Its production brings a lot of income for Nigerian farmers and processors. Nigeria's main producing states of cassava are Imo, Anambra, Kogi, Cross River, Enugu, Ogun, Ondo, Taraba, Benue, Delta, and Edo. Cassava can be processed into fructose, used in the industry to sweeten fizzy drinks.

5. Rubber

Rubber is another important cash crop in Nigeria, primarily grown in the rainforest regions of the country. Rubber manufactures various products, including tires, footwear, and industrial goods.

The major rubber-producing states in Nigeria come from the southern part of the country, where high rainfall is experienced.

6. Yam

Yam is abundantly cultivated in Nigeria, contributing to approximately 70% of the global yam production. Its primary cultivation hub is Benue, although other states such as Cross River, Adamawa, Delta, Ekiti, Imo, Edo, Kaduna, Ogun, Kwara, Ondo, Osun, Plateau, and Oyo also participate in its cultivation.

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7. Cashew nuts

Cashew nut production has seen significant growth in Nigeria. Cashew nuts are used in the food industry, especially in snacks and confectionery products. Nigeria has become one of the top producers of cashew nuts globally. Cashew-producing states in Nigeria are; Kaduna, Abia, Kogi, Enugu, Kwara, Oyo, Niger, Imo, and Abuja FCT.

8. Tobacco

Nigeria has a growing tobacco industry, with tobacco used to produce cigarettes and other tobacco-related products. Tobacco is the predominant cash crop in South West Nigeria, with cultivation spanning across states like Osun, Oyo, Kwara, and Sokoto.

9. Groundnut

pictures of cash crops in nigeria
Groundnut. Photo: @Iyierung Pete, @Only nature (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Groundnuts are primarily grown in the northern region of Nigeria, particularly in states such as Kano, Kaduna, Taraba, Bauchi, Bornu, and Adamawa. Culturing groundnuts is an easy process and can be done in home gardens and farms.

10. Soybean

Nigeria is the largest soybean producer, with its primary producing states including Kaduna, Niger, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Kwara, Oyo, Jigawa, Taraba, Borno, Benue, Bauchi, Lagos, Sokoto, Plateau, Zamfara, and Abuja FCT. Soybeans are rich in essential nutrients such as vitamin B and serve as a valuable source of protein, iron, and calcium.

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11. Sesame

Sesame seed oil content is high, has a rich, nutty flavour and is widely grown for its use as cooking oil. It is majorly grown in Benue, Nasarawa and Jigawa States. Sesame seeds are a good protein, fibre, and healthy fats source.

12. Rice

Rice is a staple food in the country and the most widely consumed. It is one of the carbohydrate-rich food sources in Nigeria. Nigeria's key rice-producing states encompass Ebonyi, Kaduna, Kano, Niger, Benue, Taraba, and Borno, with additional contributions from states like Enugu and Cross River.

13. Kolanut

Kolanut is widely grown in the South West, such as Ogun, Kwara, Osun and Oyo State. These nut products contain caffeine, which may boost a person's metabolism. It also naturally stimulates the central nervous system, increasing alertness and boosting energy levels.

14. Sugarcane

cash crops in nigeria and their location
Sugarcane being harvested. Photo: pexels.com, @Saad Majeed, @alexandresaraivacarniato (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Sugarcane is commercially produced in Kastina, Taraba, Kano, Adamawa, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kebbi, and Sokoto State. The sugar produced serves as a table sugar, sweetener and edible preservative.

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15. Timber

Nigeria is one of the largest timber exporters in West Africa, and the major production areas are rainforest areas such as Cross River, Edo, Ondo, Ogun, and Delta State. Timber provides opportunities for its use in all kinds of woodwork and furniture.

Nigeria is one of the biggest producers of cash crops in the world. Different kinds of crops are cultivated all over Nigeria due to its various climate areas. Farmers usually cultivate cash crops in Nigeria on large-scale farms.

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