Cash Crops Grown in Nigeria

Nigeria’s landmass is 923,768 km2. The country is bounded by the Sahelian countries (Niger and Chad) to the North and by the Atlantic Ocean to the south. It lies along the latitudes of 4 1′ and 13 9′ N and the longitudes of 2 2′ and 14 30′ E.

Agriculture, the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy, contributes over 45% of this country’s gross domestic product (GDP). The sector employs over 50% of the workforce. About 84 million hectares of the agricultural land area is in Nigeria, and out of this, 33 million hectares is under cultivation at present.

The major cash crops grown in Nigeria are cocoa, oil palm, groundnuts, cotton, ginger as well as sesame.

The primary staple crops in this country include cassava, maize, yam, rice, sorghum or Guinea Corn, and millet, and altogether, these crops cover 65 percent of the entire cultivated area.

If you’re looking to start cash crop farming in this country, you need to keep these factors in mind as they’ll determine the success of the farming business.

Things to Note before You Farm Any Cash Crop

1. Crop Variety

The majority of crops come in many varieties with different periods of maturity, climate acceptability, and a lot of other factors, which will either have an effect on the crop yield or its market potentials.

2. Potentials for Profit

If you’re planning to cultivate a particular cash crop, consider carrying out a background check on its profit potentials, since not all crops generate the same profit in all location.

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3. Climate Requirements

It isn’t all farm products that grow well in every location, since each crop has different climate requirements.

Certain crops such as groundnuts, tobacco have the ability to withstand high temperature, but not every crop can do this.

Some Cash Crops Grown in Nigeria


The 4th largest producer of cocoa products in Africa is Nigeria, and the country is also the 3rd largest exporter of this crop on this continent. The cocoa bean has a lot of fats that are used for producing cocoa butter, turned into chocolates, which are converted by grounding to yield beverages. Osun, Edo, Ondo, Oyo are among Nigeria’s cocoa-producing states.


Nigeria and West Africa are renowned for rubber production. The cash crop is harvested as a liquid called latex from the para rubber tree. This latex is obtained from the tree via an opening on the bark of the tree, created by cutting the tree.

The harvest is primarily carried out morning and evening. The collected latex is processed into dry forms to get them ready to be marketed. It’s been proven that rubber tree has the ability to produce for more than 3 years if it receives adequate care and is well handled.


Yam is the favorite of a lot of Nigerians due to the famous “pound yam” and related delicacies made for it. It’s cultivated in large quantities in this country. As a matter of fact, Nigeria is the world’s largest yam producer, according to the FAO.

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In 1985, the country’s yam production figures hit 18.3 million tons and rose to 32.318 million metric tons. This enabled it to still retain its position as the largest producer. When it comes to yam farming, the primary agricultural state in Nigeria is Benue.

Other yam-producing states in the country include Adamawa, Delta, Cross River, Edo, Imo, Ekiti, Kaduna, Ogun, Kwara, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, and Plateau.


Also called cassava flakes, garri, the popular staple food, is produced from cassava. It’s an agricultural tuber crop that’s ubiquitous in Nigeria. And unsurprisingly, Nigeria is its largest producer.

The primary states that produce cassava include Benue, Enugu, Kogi, Cross River, Imo, Oyo, Kaduna, Ogun, Delta, Ondo, Akwa-Ibom, Rivers, and Taraba.

Guinea Corn

Guinea Corn is among the primary agricultural food crops grown commercially in this country. Figures obtained from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization show that Nigeria is the 2nd major producer of Guinea Corn in the world after the United States.

In the 2012–13 season, roughly 5.9 million tonnes of sorghum were produced in this country. The major states that produce this cash crop can be found in northern Nigerian. They include Kano, Borno, Kaduna, Niger, Katsina, Zamfara, and Bauchi.


This is an essential cash crop in Nigeria primarily due to its use in important traditional celebrations in this country and its nutritional value. It’s produced in close to 19 states: Cross River, Edo, Delta, Enugu, Ekiti, Imo, Kogi, Gombe, Lagos, Nasarawa, Ogun Niger, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, etc. But Ogun is the largest producer of the crop.

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The world’s 3rd-largest producer of groundnut is Nigeria, trailing only China and the United States. Some of the states in Nigeria that are actively involved in the production of groundnut are Sokoto, Kaduna, Katsina, Yobe, Adamawa, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, and Bauchi.

Oil Palm 

After Indonesia and Malaysia, Nigeria comes next on the list of the largest producer of oil palm in the world, according to reports.

Oil palm is produced in the South-east, the North-central as well as the South-South regions of Nigeria. And the Niger Delta accounts for more than 57 percent of the oil palm produce in this country.


Owing to the import of cotton in the clothing and textile industry in this country, it’s among the most crucial cash crops in Nigeria.

Cotton plays such a huge role in this country that the history of its production goes as far back as 1903 when the British Cotton growers association held sway in the production of the cash crop.

The major production regions of cotton in Nigeria are the North and South-West, with Oyo and Ogun occupying the top spot. In the North, Kano, Kaduna, Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto, Jigawa, and Kebbi are the main producers of the crop in this country.

Here are some other cash crops grown in Nigeria:

  • Groundnut (Peanut)
  • Soybeans
  • Sugarcane
  • Cashew

That concludes today’s write-up on some of the major cash crops grown in Nigeria.

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