Cocoa is an important commercial cash crop which is very significant to Nigeria economy. During the 1950s – 1960s, the crop was the major contributor to the country’s foreign exchange revenue. And as at present, it is the leading agricultural export of the country. Nigeria, being one of the leading producers of cocoa in the world, a good number of states produces this cash crop in commercial quantities. This article will investigate into the production of cocoa in the country, and thereupon, highlight the top ten largest cocoa producing states.
The history of cocoa in Nigeria could be traced hundred of years ago when it was discovered in the southern part of the country. The area of Bonny and Calabar had the earliest cocoa farms in Nigeria, which was in the 1870s. Due to these two areas being surrounded by waters, cocoa production was not successful there, and this made a change to another region. Sequentially, a cocoa farm was established in Lagos in 1880, and later, a few more farms were established in the neigboring Agege and Ota. From here cocoa production expanded in Western Nigeria, as they are the leading producers of the cash crop.
Cocoa production plays important role to the economy of Nigeria, and it’s seen as the cash crop being the leading agricultural export of the country. Complementing to this, Nigeria is currently the fourth largest producer of Cocoa in the world, and they are bettered of by Ivory Coast, Indonesia and Ghana. During the 1950s and 1960s, the crop was a major foreign exchange earner for Nigeria and in 1970 the country was the second largest producer in the world. So cocoa production in Nigeria is very significant, due to the utility of the crop.
Top 10 Largest Cocoa Producing States in Nigeria
With the country being one of the leading producers of cocoa in the world, the contribution of a lot of the producing states has led to this. Cocoa production is mostly in the southern part of the country, and a good number of them produces commercial quantities of this cash crop. For the record, Ondo state is the state that produces the most cocoa in Nigeria.
Below is the rundown of the largest cocoa producing states in the country;
Ondo state is the largest producer of cocoa in Nigeria. The state records an output capacity estimated at 77,000 tons per annum. The state is situated in the Western part of the country, which is the major cocoa producing region. Ondo state is located within the rainforest agro-ecological zone, and this supports agricultural activities in the state. The state is much inclined to agriculture which in turn, contributes to over 70% of the state’s gross domestic products.
The dominant regions that produces commercial quantities of cocoa in the state include local government areas of Owo, Akure south, Idanre, Ondo west and Odigbo. Cocoa production in Ondo state is largely facilitated by small scale farmers, of which the men are actively involved in the process.
Cross Rivers State
Cross River is known as the second largest cocoa producing state in Nigeria. This is based on a survey report on cocoa production in the state. With a total of eighteen Local Government Areas (LGAs) making up the state, then out of it, about fourteen produces cocoa in commercial quantities. However, four local government areas are seen as the major producer, as they contribute to more than 30% of the state’s production. These LGAs include Ikom, Etung, Obubua and Boki. Most area of Cross River state is within the rainforest forest vegetation belt, which supports the production of cocoa.
With the western part of Nigeria being the most prominent on cocoa production in the country, Oyo state being the largest state in the area isn’t left out in the list of top cocoa producing states. The State covers approximately an area of 28,454 square kilometers, and it is within the rainforest agro-ecological vegetation which supports agricultural activities. Oyo state has a commercial quantities of cocoa which in turn contributes to the state’s internally generated revenue. A good number plantation is found in almost all local government areas in the state.
Osun State is the third largest producer of cocoa in the South Western part of Nigeria. The state is only bettered of by Ondo and Oyo states with respect to cocoa production in the region. The Cocoa Farms in the state has largely create a rising profile in making them to be a big role player and producer of the cash crop in the country.
Osun state can boost of the Cocoa Processing Plant, located in Ede. This plant was set up by the state government in order to refine cocoa raw materials in the state. From all these, the state is well positioned as one of the leading producers of cocoa in Nigeria.
Akwa Ibom State
Akwa Ibom state is located in the coastal southern part of country. Though the state is much rich in oil and gas production, they have of recent invest in the cocoa industry. Through this, they hope to strike a balance in mineral and agricultural production in the state. This is seen as the state government empowered local farmers with cocoa seedlings, so as to improve productivity and generate income in the area.
Interestingly, the state has a good soil which favors the production of cocoa. About 21 out of the 31 local government areas of Akwa Ibom State supports the production of this cash crop.
Situated in the western part of the country, Ogun state is one of the leading producers of cocoa. The state falls in the cocoa production area which incorporate all the southwestern states in the country. A large commercial quantity of cocoa is available in the state. In addition to this, Ondo state has four major cocoa producing Local Government Areas (LGAs) which contributes most to the crop production in the area. The local government areas include: Abeokuta North, Abeokuta South, Odeda and Owode.
Delta State is an oil and agricultural producing state in Nigeria. Though the state is very prominent on the former, but it is one of notable agriculture state in the country. Situated in the South-South geo-political zone of the country, it host to a lot of cocoa plantation. The state is one of the exporter of this cash crop, as this put them in the list of cocoa producers in the country.
Ekiti is one of the cocoa producing states in the country. The state is located in the production region, which is the western part of the country. The state is very strategic in cocoa production, and cocoa is produced in all the sixteen local government areas of the state. This has made the state to be in view as one of the top cocoa producing states in Nigeria.
Edo is one of the cocoa producing states in Nigeria. The state is located in the mid-western part of the country, and it is quite close to the coastal areas. A good area of the state supports agricultural activities because of the rainforest agro-ecological zone. Cocoa production is done in the state, a good quantity of the crop is exported after production. This has contributed to the internally generated revenue of the state.
Kogi is also in the list as one of the top producers of cocoa in the country. The state is indeed one to rely on when considering cocoa production in Nigeria. Though their production is quite low compared to the aforementioned states, but Kogi State produces one of the best cocoa product in terms of quality. The state is situated in a region known for productive agricultural activities, and as such they are positioned as one of the leading cocoa producing states in the country. A good number of cocoa plantation is found in the state, and the state’s government is putting efforts to make the state lead the echelon.
There are about fourteen (14) states in Nigeria that are notable for the production of cocoa, this is reflected in the latest prices of cocoa in the market today. Among them, there are top ones that records the a high productivity of this cash crop. This article enumerated the top ten cocoa producing states in country. That’s the size of this write-up, as we’re able to list them and also highlight the cocoa production in these states.