Top 7 Agriculture Products in Nigeria: Food and Money Makers

Paprika pepper farmer in Tanzania

Nigerians love to chop. The food scene is incredible. From region to region, you are apt to find a salivating local dish that will have you licking your lips and wiping your brow. The produce that forms these dishes come from local farmers and small farms scattered across the country. Nigeria boasts a rich agricultural sector that plays a vital role in its economy. The country is blessed with fertile lands, diverse climatic conditions, and a thriving agricultural industry. This article will explore the top seven agricultural products in Nigeria, highlighting their significance, unique statistics, and contributions to the nation’s economy and local farmers.

boy sitting on sack on outdoor market
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  1. Cocoa: Cocoa is a major cash crop in Nigeria, and the country ranks as the fourth-largest producer worldwide. Nigeria’s cocoa production stands at approximately 240,000 metric tons annually, contributing significantly to export revenue. Cocoa farming provides income for over 300,000 small-scale farmers, supporting their livelihoods and creating employment opportunities in rural areas.
  2. Cassava: Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava globally, accounting for about 20% of the total global production. With an annual output of over 54 million metric tons, cassava serves as a staple food and raw material for various industries. It is a vital source of income for millions of farmers across the country, and the processing of cassava into garri, starch, and flour generates employment and income.
  3. Palm Oil: Palm oil production is a significant sector in Nigeria, ranking as the largest producer in Africa and the fifth-largest globally. Nigeria produces approximately 1.03 million metric tons of palm oil annually. The industry provides jobs for over 1 million smallholder farmers and contributes to rural development. Palm oil is a valuable export commodity, earning foreign exchange for the country.
  4. Rubber: Nigeria is the third-largest producer of rubber in Africa. Rubber plantations cover vast areas, particularly in the southern part of the country. The rubber industry contributes to economic growth and provides employment for thousands of farmers. Nigeria produces around 118,000 metric tons of rubber annually, supporting local livelihoods and export earnings.
  5. Maize: Maize is a staple crop in Nigeria, serving as a vital ingredient in various food products. Nigeria is the largest producer of maize in Africa, with an annual production of over 12 million metric tons. Maize farming helps to enhance food security, provides income for farmers, and supports the growth of the livestock industry through feed production.
  6. Yam: Yam is a highly valuable crop in Nigeria and holds cultural significance in many communities. Nigeria is the largest producer of yam in the world, accounting for over 70% of global production. Annually, the country produces around 40 million metric tons of yam, making it a crucial agricultural product.
  7. Groundnut: Groundnut, also known as peanuts, is an important cash crop in Nigeria. The country is the largest producer of groundnuts in Africa, with an annual production exceeding 3 million metric tons. Groundnut farming provides income for rural farmers, encourages crop rotation, and supports the production of vegetable oil, snacks, and other food products.

The top seven agricultural products in Nigeria – cocoa, cassava, palm oil, rubber, maize, yam, and groundnut – form the backbone of the nation’s agricultural sector – but there are so many other products that are vital to Nigerians. We didn’t even mention plantain, rice, beans, greens, and livestock – don’t worry we have more articles coming to discuss these.

cassava crops in close up photography
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These products not only contribute significantly to the country’s economy through export earnings but also play a crucial role in empowering local farmers and creating employment opportunities. Supporting and investing in these agricultural industries will further drive economic growth, reduce poverty, and enhance food security in Nigeria.

Roman Kingsley

Journalist based in the United States and Nigeria, focusing on Real Estate Development and the stories emerging in and around the built environment.

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