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15 Best Crops to Grow in Nigeria

Nigeria is endowed with diverse agroecological regions that permit the cultivation of various food and cash crops. In an agriculture-based economy, identifying the most suitable crops to grow is crucial. Therefore, this article unravels the top 15 crops that thrive tremendously across Nigeria. First and foremost, cassava prospers across the country producing high tuber yields even in poor soils. Likewise, maize adapts perfectly to different ecological zones with speedy maturity.InformationGuideNigeria

Furthermore, rice cultivation is expanding due to increasing domestic consumption. Subsequently, soybean flourishes in savannah areas while cowpea survives in most regions with adequate rainfall. In the same way, yam, plantain, tomato, and onion perform optimally in specific zones. Ultimately, this list showcases profitable crops for Nigeria’s farmers.

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The 15 Best Crops to Grow in Nigeria

The 15 best crops to grow in Nigeria are:

1. Cassava

Cassava is a staple crop in Nigeria and one of the most widely cultivated. It grows well across the country and produces high yields even in poor soils. Cassava can be processed into food products like garri, fufu, and tapioca which have good market demand.15 Best Crops to Grow in Nigeria

Read Also: Top 15 Crops to Plant and Harvest Within 3 Months

2. Maize

Maize is the most widely grown cereal crop in Nigeria. It adapts well to different agroecological zones and matures quickly between 90-120 days. Maize has many uses including livestock feed, ethanol production, and food products like pap, ogi, cornstarch, and cornflakes. It can yield up to 4,000kg per hectare. 

3. Rice

Rice consumption has increased substantially in Nigeria, making it an important crop to cultivate. The humid climate and plentiful rains in states like Ebonyi, Kano, and Kebbi make rice cultivation profitable. Also, new high-yielding varieties like FARO 44 and FARO 52 are giving yields of 5-6 metric tonnes per hectare.

4. Soybean

Soybean thrives in the savannah regions of Nigeria. It is a nutritious, versatile, and profitable crop. Soybean is used for producing vegetable oil, animal feeds, soy milk, tofu, and other foods high in protein. It is also processed into industrial products. Average yields range from 1.5-2.5 metric tonnes per hectare.

5. Cowpea

An indigenous crop to Nigeria, cowpeas grow well in most parts of the country with adequate rainfall. Early maturing varieties mature within 60-70 days. Cowpea grains and leaves provide an inexpensive source of nutritious food. The yield potential is about 1,500kg per hectare.15 Best Music Apps in Nigeria

Read Also: Top 15 Foods with Amazing Health Benefits in Nigeria

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6. Yam

Yam is a traditional and staple crop in Nigeria, mainly grown in the middle belt and southeastern parts. It provides food security and income for smallholder farmers. Also, the tubers are processed into pounded yam, amala, yam flour, and other delicacies. Yam can yield up to 30 tonnes per hectare.Top 15 Best Wig Serum Brands

7. Plantain

Plantain farming is a lucrative business in the southern parts of Nigeria where there is abundant rainfall and humidity. Easy access to large markets makes plantain cultivation profitable, with yields of up to 12 tonnes per hectare. Plantains can be harvested year-round.105 Good Morning My Love Messages

8. Tomato

Tomato is one of the most widely grown vegetables in Nigeria. The Northern and Middle Belt regions provide suitable dry conditions for cultivating tomatoes. With high yields and income potential, it’s a crop in high demand. The average yield is about 29 tonnes per hectare.200 Romantic Message for Her

9. Onion

Onion is another high-value vegetable crop grown commercially in Nigeria. It thrives in the northern regions during the dry season under irrigation. Bulbs can be harvested in 110-150 days. Onion yields range from 15-35 tonnes per hectare based on variety.

Read Also: Top 15 Vegetables that Fight Cancer

10. Cocoa

Cocoa is a priority export crop in Nigeria. The tropical climate in southwest Nigeria provides optimal conditions for growing cocoa. Cocoa takes 3-4 years to mature but has a long productive lifespan. An average yield is 400-500kg beans per hectare.NYSC Portal

11. Cashew

Cashew is an important cash crop that grows well in Nigeria’s middle belt and southeast areas receiving 1,000-1,500mm annual rainfall. Early maturing varieties fruit in 18 months. An acre can yield over 5,000kg of raw cashew nuts.

12. Peppers 

Hot peppers thrive in all parts of Nigeria. Irrigated pepper farms operate in many states producing varieties like tatase, sombo, and rodo which are popular ingredients in Nigerian cuisine.JAMB Portal

Read Also: Top 15 Healthiest Leafy Green Vegetables

13. Cotton

Furthermore, cotton is suitable for drier northern areas of Nigeria. Rainfed cotton takes 150-180 days while irrigated cotton is ready in 90-120 days. Seed cotton yield ranges from 1,500kg to 2,000kg per hectare. Cotton provides raw material to the textile industry.

14. Groundnut

Groundnut performs well in light-textured soils with moderate rainfall. It takes 90-150 days to mature. Pod yield ranges from 1,200kg to 3,000kg per hectare. Groundnut oil and cakes have good market demand.

15. Sweet Potato

However, sweet potato gives high yields in many agroecological zones in Nigeria. Early maturing sweet potato varieties are ready for harvest at 90-150 days. Average tuber yield is between 10-17 tonnes per hectare.

Read Also: Top 15 Locally Made Fruit Juices in Nigeria


Nigeria’s favorable climate permits the profitable farming of diverse food and cash crops. Firstly, staple crops like cassava, yam, maize, rice, cowpea, and plantain ensure food security for the population. Secondly, vegetables including tomatoes, onions, and leafy greens supply a nutritional diet. Moreover, industrial crops such as cotton, cocoa, sesame, and soybean provide raw materials and export earnings. Likewise, fruits like citrus, mangoes, and bananas can thrive in suitable areas. Overall, Nigeria’s farmers could optimize crop yields by selecting suitable varieties and adopting good agronomic practices. With appropriate support, the agricultural sector can flourish and subsequently, boost the economy.

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