Cowpea, Vigna unguiculata, is one of the most versatile African crops which feeds people, their livestock, the soil and other crops. In Nigeria it is simply known as ‘beans’. There are two major varieties that are popularly known in Nigeria; sweet beans or honey beans and the brown beans.
Nigeria is the largest global producer of cowpea, with about 58% of worldwide production, yet Nigeria is still the largest consumer of the crop. To supplement local production, substantial amounts of cowpea come into Nigeria from Cameroon. The major cowpea producing states in Nigeria Borno, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kano, Gombe and Yobe.
Nigeria is the 6th largest producer of cashew in the world with an annual production volume of about 120,000 metric tons. Since 2008, Nigeria has been an increasingly consistent player in the global cashew trade, making the sector a major contributor to the country’s non-oil GDP. Cashew is widely grown in the southern states such as Enugu, Oyo, Anambra, Osun, Abia, Ondo, Cross River, Imo, Ekiti, Ebonyi, and in some northern states like Kwara, Kogi, Benue, Niger and the FCT.
Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava, Manihot esculenta, in the world. Cassava is very vital to the nation’s economy as it one of the staple foods and has lots of derivative products to feed the commercial and industrial sectors. The main producing states include: Imo, Ondo, Anambra, Kogi, Taraba, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Ogun, Benue, Delta, and Edo.
Nigeria is the world’s largest producer of yam, accounting for up to 76% of the global production (FAO). The major producing states include: Benue, Adamawa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Kaduna, Kwara, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, and Plateau.
The production of cotton in Nigeria has been in existence since 1903. Before the oil boom, it was one of the major cash crops exported to other countries, but due to the negligence of the government, the cultivation and exportation of cotton have reduced greatly. Cotton is grown in Nigeria in the Savannah belts of the country such as Kano, Kaduna, Oyo, Ondo, Kwara, Katsina, Jigawa, Ogun, Kebbi, Sokoto, and Zamfara states.
Nigeria’s seafood not only includes fish, but also shrimps, periwinkles, clams, oysters, crayfish, etc. Out of Nigeria’s 36 states, nine are located along its marine coast – Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Edo, Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta, Akwa Ibom and Cross River.
Nigeria is the largest producer of rice in West Africa; Rain-fed upland rice (30%) and the Rain-fed lowland rice – FADAMA (47%), Irrigated (17%), and deeo water production (5%). The major rice producing areas in Nigeria are Benue, Borno, Kaduna, Kano, Niger, Taraba, Enugu, Cross River, and Ebonyi.
As far back as the 1950’s, the government of the Western Region has begun to invest in the production of citrus fruits. Thus, the Lafia Canning Factory in Ibadan, Oyo State was established in 1954. To feed the factory, the government established the Apoje Citrus Farm and an aggressive Farm Settlement Scheme. Today, that factory has been taken over by Funman Agricultural Products Ltd, makers of Funman Fruit Juice.
Nigeria produces about 3.4 million metric tons of citrus fruits from an estimated 3 million hectares of land (FAO, 2008), making the country the 9th major producer of citrus fruits in the world. The major citrus producing states include: Benue, Nassarawa, Kogi, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Taraba, Ekiti, Imo, Kwara, Edo, and Delta.
Sugarcane, Saccharum officinarum, is a perennial, tall grass, which looks like a bamboo cane and grows well in warm temperate tropical areas. The production of sugarcane in Nigeria is mostly, in the North with Kano State accounting for 30% of the national production (NBS, 2009). Other major producing states include: Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Taraba, and Adamawa.
22. Plantain and Banana
Nigeria is one of the largest producers of plantain and banana in Africa, with major producing states in the southern and central states such as Edo, Ondo, Delta, Ogun, Rivers, Cross River, Oyo, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Imo, Plateau, Osun, Bayelsa, Kogi, Abia, Anambra, and Enugu.