Ekiti State is located in the southwestern geopolitical zone of Nigeria. The state is in the rainforest belt with a temperature range of 21°c to 28°c. Topographically, Ekiti State is mainly an upland zone rising above 250 metres above sea level. Agriculture is the major occupation of the people. In fact, the 16 administrative local government areas in the state are divided into three agricultural zones namely Zone A, Zone B, and Zone C. Some of the agricultural products of the Ekiti include:
Cocoa is a high value cash crop that enjoys popularity in the southwestern region of Nigeria. It was one of Nigeria’s leading source of foreign exchange before the oil boom and is still one of Nigeria’s largest agricultural foreign trade commodities. Ekiti State is one of the fourteen cocoa producing states in Nigeria and cocoa production helps to boost its economy.
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This perennial cash crop bears fruits known as palm fruits. Palm fruit contains oil which is processed into palm oil when ripe. Oil palm cultivation is lucrative due to the enormous demands for palm oil both locally and internationally. After planting, oil palm takes about three to four years to grow to maturity.
Ekiti State is one of the states whose contribution makes Nigeria the largest plantain producing country in Africa. Plantain is a water loving crop. Plantain production in Ekiti is mostly a male profession; production is largely in the hands of small scale farmers.
This crop is an important staple in Nigeria. It is the most widely grown crop in both the South-West and South-East geopolitical zones. It ranks third in importance after cassava and yam. However, cocoyam is nutritionally superior to both cassava and yam. In Ekiti State, cocoyam is intercropped with such crops as cassava, yam, and vegetables.
This seasonal fruit is highly sought after in the Nigerian market. Each cashew apple bears a single seed. Both the fruit and the seed can be eaten. While the apple can be eaten when plucked, the seed can only be eaten after roasting. Roasting the cashew seed is what produces cashew nuts which most of us enjoy. Cashew (botanical name of Anacarduim occidentale) is a good source of protein, Vitamin B6, Phosphorous, and Magnessium.
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This economic cash crop is also widely produced in Ekiti. Kola nut has pharmacological properties. This crop is also an important article of internal trade in Nigeria. In fact, there is a general saying in the country that kola nut is produced in the West, consumed in the North and worshipped in the East. This saying is true to some extent especially with regards to kola nut production in the West and its reverence in the South-East. Indeed, in southeastern Nigeria, kola nut has social, religious, and ceremonial functions.
T. A. Amusa, A. A. Enete and U.E. Okon, “Socio-Economic Determinants of Cocoyam Production among Small Holder Farmers in Ekiti State,” International Journal of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Vol. 4, No. 2, 2011, 97-109
A. A. Enete and T. A. Amusa, “Determinants of Women’s Contribution to Farming Decisions in Cocoa Based Agro-Forestry Households of Ekiti State, Nigeria,”Field Actions Science Report, 2010, 1-6.
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