We continue with the Part 2 of our series on the agricultural map of Nigeria, showing the distribution of crops and livestock species and breeds, their yields and productivity; capital and energy available to agribusiness enterprises; mechanization of crop cultivation and raising of livestock, etc.

7.      Tomato

The tomato is the edible, and usually, the red berry of the plant Solanum lycopersicum, the tomato plant. Originally from South America, tomato has become a favourite vegetable produced and consumed in all parts of the world. Nigeria ranks as the 16th tomato producing country in the world with almost 11 per cent production in Africa and about 1.2 percent of total world production. Tomato is an important component of our daily diet and is consumed fresh, dried and in paste form.

Nigeria produces approximately 1.8 million metric tons of fresh tomato for domestic consumption, while the national demand is about 2-3 million metric tons annually, leaving a demand gap of about 500,000 metric tons. Major states that produce tomato in Nigeria include Jigawa, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kaduna, Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba and Kano. The southern states are beginning to produce tomato in large quantity using the greenhouse and screenhouse technology.

8.      Timber and Wood

Nigeria’s forests can be divided into two principal categories: woodlands and forests of the savanna regions that are sources of fuel and poles, and rainforests of the southern humid zone that supply almost all domestic timber and lumber, with fuel wood as a byproduct (countrystudies.us). Fuel wood and charcoal account for about 50% of the national primary energy consumption. It is estimated that about 90% of the rural households in Southern Nigeria and up to 98% in the North depend on fuel wood as their source of domestic energy (FAO, 2001).

The major wood producing states in Nigeria include Ondo, Cross River, Ogun, Edo, Delta, Ekiti, Osun and Oyo with common wood products like sawn wood, plywood, particle board, newsprint, printing and writing paper and other paper boards (www.nairaland.com).

9.      Pepper

Pepper is one of the most popular spices used in the making of most Nigerian food. Pepper belongs to the Family Solanaceae, an important group of vegetables. Pepper generally originated from the Americas but has found its way to all parts of the world. FAO statistics estimate that the pepper production in tropical Africa is about 1 million metric tons, with Nigeria contributing up to 715,000 metric tons from about 90,000 ha.

A great deal of the pepper produced in Nigeria is grown in the northern part of the country in states such as Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa, Katsina, Sokoto, Plateau and Bauchi.

10.    Rubber

Nigeria was once among the major exporters of natural rubber with much comparative trade advantage on its production since 1894. It was not only a cash crop for foreign exchange but also a raw material for most of her agro-based industries. It also offered employment especially to those in the rural areas and improved the economy.

The major rubber producing states in Nigeria are in the southern part of the country, where high rainfall is experienced. Although it is also grown in Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Ebonyi and Bayelsa, it is commercially grown in Ondo, Edo, Ogun, Delta (Sapele) and Cross River state.

11.    Soyabeans

Also known as soybean, this leguminous vegetable of the pea family grows well in tropical, subtropical, and temperate climates. The plant is classed as an oilseed rather than a pulse by the FAO and grows successfully in many states in Nigeria. Soybean cultivation in Nigeria has expanded as a result of its nutritive and economic importance and diverse domestic usage. The soybean is one of the richest and cheapest sources of protein.

Government sources estimate that about 25 percent of Nigeria’s domestic production is consumed directly in rural areas as human food. It is a staple in the diet of people and animals in numerous parts of the world today. Soybean oil, an extract from the seed, is a major source of healthy oil in the world. It is also processed into soy ice cream, soy yogurt, soy cheese etc. A by-product from the oil production (soybean cake) is used as a high-protein animal feed in many countries.

Nigeria is the largest consumer of soybeans in sub-Sahara Africa followed by Uganda. Nigeria currently produces soybean worth $85 million in the international market and though most of the nation’s soybean is consumed locally where they are used in the production of soymilk and specially formulated foods to help malnourished infants and children, the international market for the product is growing and sustainable.

The major soyabean producing states in Nigeria include Benue, Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau, Niger, Nasarawa, Kebbi, Kwara, Oyo, Jigawa, Borno, Bauchi, Lagos, Sokoto, Zamfara and the FCT. The average yield of soyabean on a hectare of land in Nigeria is about 1,700 kg.

12.    Maize

Maize is a valuable commodity that is geographically produced across Nigeria. It is perhaps, the most common staple food in Nigeria, alongside cassava. According to the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), worldwide production of maize is 785 million tons, with the USA, the largest producer, producing about 42%. Africa produces about 6.5% and the largest African producer is Nigeria with nearly 8 million tons, followed by South Africa. For commercial and industrial quantity, major maize producing states include Niger, Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau, Adamawa, Kogi, Benue, Nasarawa and Bauchi.