The northern states in Nigeria continue to remain the most impoverished and poverty ridden states in the country. According to a recent statistic published on venturesafrica.com, the top five poorest states in Nigeria are situated in the North. Sokoto stands atop that list with an unbelievable 81.2 percent poverty rate despite the fact that it has about 80 percent of its population practising rural agriculture.
These statistics are saddening, especially when you consider that the northern regions have the largest capacity to mass produce a variety of crops.
If you plan to grow crops in the north, here’s a list of 5 crops worth of consideration:
Nigeria currently produces yam in vast quantity and is accounting for about 70% of the world’s total yam production, and because of this, it is the termed the largest producers of yams globally followed by Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana respectively. Although yam is produced all around Nigeria, the largest concentration of the production is in the North. The states in the North where yams are mostly produced in Taraba, Benue, Niger and Nassarawa. Benue state is however the largest producer.
Scientifically called Oryza sativa, rice is the world’s second most popular cereal after maize. Here in Nigeria, it needs no introduction because it has become one of the most important foods in the country, consumed by both the wealthy and the poor. There’s hardly a place you’ll go in Nigeria where you won’t find rice among the most consumed foods. The good news is that the current administration has put some policies in place to ensure that local producers of rice are supported and locally produced rice is consumed by Nigerians. Although eastern states like Ebonyi and Anambra also produce rice,the main areas of rice cultivation in the country include the states of Kebbi, Kano, Niger and Taraba, with Kebbi being the largest rice producing state in Nigeria.
Before the oil boom in Nigeria, cotton was one of the major cash crops produced in Nigeria and exported to other countries, but due to the negligence of the government, the cultivation and exportation of cotton have reduced greatly. This is not bad news though, as the soil in Nigeria, especially in the North, is still as arable as ever and it provides the perfect opportunity for you to consider cotton farming. The major producers of cotton are Kaduna, Ondo, Kano, Katsina ,Oyo, Kwara, Ogun, Zamfara, Jigawa, Sokoto, and Kebbi.
Garlic belongs to the Allium family of vegetables. This is the family of onions, chives, shallots and leeks. It’s one of the most valuable and versatile foods on the planet today. Garlic is widely recognized today as one of health enhancing supplement. As it turns out, Nigeria has a capacity to produce this on a large scale. As a matter of fact, Daily Trust newspapers on 10th February, 2018, gave a report titled “Garlic now goldmine for Sokoto farmers”. The real meaning of this is that farmers are making millions from garlic farming. You can make those millions too, if you start today. Kano, Kaduna, Kebbi, Sokoto, Jigawa, Bauchi, Katsina and Zamfara States are the main producers of the commodity.
Nigeria is one of the top producers of ginger in the world. In the Nigerian market ginger is well known and on high demand even though it is quite expensive. Kaduna State stands as the highest producer of the crop while states like Gombe, Bauchi, Benue, Nassarawa among others are major producers of the crop.
Some other crops that are worthy of also giving a shot are Hibiscus, Groundnuts, Gum Arabic, Maize, Cassava, Cashew, Cowpeas, Soybeans, Sesame seeds, Sugarcane, Pepper, Tomatoes and Sorghum.
If you live in the North and you’ve either tried any of these or plan to do so, please let us know in the comment section.