Nigeria is one of the leading producers of yam in the world, with the crop being a major staple in the country. Yam production in Nigeria has been increasing over the years, with farmers adopting modern farming techniques to improve productivity. The crop is grown in almost all the states in Nigeria, with some states being major producers.
Yam is a root crop that is highly valued in Nigeria and other West African countries. It is a major source of food for millions of people in the region, and it is also an important source of income for farmers. Yam production in Nigeria is a major contributor to the country’s agricultural sector, which is one of the largest in Africa.
This article will focus on the top 10 highest yam producing states in Nigeria. The ranking is based on data from the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and other reliable sources. The article will provide information on the production of yam in each state, as well as the factors that contribute to their high productivity. It will also highlight the importance of yam production in Nigeria and its impact on the country’s economy.
TOP 10 HIGHEST YAM PRODUCING STATES IN NIGERIA
The following are the largest yam producing states in Nigeria this 2023.
|State||Yam Output (in tons)|
|Benue (highest yam producing state in Nigeria)||3,500,000|
YAM PRODUCTION IN NIGERIA
Yam is one of the most important staple foods in Nigeria, and the country is the largest producer of yams in the world, accounting for over 70-76 percent of global production. Yam production is a major source of livelihood for many Nigerians, especially in rural areas. Yam is a versatile crop, and it can be boiled, roasted, fried, or mashed. It is also used in the production of flour, chips, and other food products.
SPECIES OF YAM
There are several species of yam grown in Nigeria, including the white yam, yellow yam, water yam, and Chinese yam. The white yam is the most popular and widely cultivated species, accounting for over 90 percent of yam production in Nigeria. It is a large tuber with a rough, brown skin and white flesh.
YAM FARMING IN NIGERIA
Yam farming is a labor-intensive process that requires a lot of care and attention. The planting season for yam in Nigeria usually starts in March and ends in June, depending on the region. The yam tubers are planted in mounds or ridges, and the soil is carefully prepared to ensure optimal growth. The yam plants are prone to pests and diseases, so farmers must take care to protect them from these threats.
YAM MARKETS AND EXPORT
Yam is an important crop in Nigeria, and it is consumed by millions of people across the country. There is a large market for yam in Nigeria, and it is sold in both rural and urban areas. Yam is also exported to other countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Nigeria exports both fresh and processed yam products, including yam flour and chips.
REVENUE FROM YAM PRODUCTION
Yam production is a major source of revenue for Nigeria, and it contributes significantly to the country’s economy. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, Nigeria produced 44.1 million tons of yam in 2019, generating over $3 billion in revenue. The revenue generated from yam production helps to support the livelihoods of millions of Nigerians, especially those in rural areas. Overall, yam production is an important part of Nigeria’s agricultural sector, and it plays a significant role in the country’s economy. With its large market and high demand, yam farming is a lucrative business for many Nigerian farmers and companies.
THE IMPORTANCE OF YAM IN NIGERIAN DIET
Yam is a staple food in Nigeria, and it is a crucial part of the West African diet. It is a versatile and nutritious food that is enjoyed in many forms, including boiled, fried, roasted, and pounded. Yam is a good source of carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making it an essential part of a healthy diet. In Nigeria, yam is used in a wide range of dishes, including porridge, soups, stews, and fufu. Fufu is a popular Nigerian dish made by pounding boiled yam or cassava into a smooth, dough-like consistency. It is often served with soup or stew and is a filling and satisfying meal.
Yam is also an important part of Nigerian culture and tradition. It is often used in celebrations and festivals, and it is a symbol of abundance and prosperity. In some parts of Nigeria, yam is even considered a sacred food. In addition to its cultural significance, yam is also an important crop for Nigerian farmers. Nigeria is one of the largest producers of yam in the world, and yam farming provides employment and income for many people in rural areas. Overall, yam is a vital part of the Nigerian diet and culture. It is a nutritious and versatile food that is enjoyed by millions of people across the country.
CHALLENGES FACING YAM PRODUCTION IN NIGERIA
Yam production in Nigeria is facing several challenges that are hindering its growth and development. These challenges range from low productivity to post-harvest challenges. In this section, we will explore some of the challenges facing yam production in Nigeria.
One of the major challenges facing yam production in Nigeria is low productivity. This is due to several factors such as poor soil fertility, inadequate irrigation facilities, and limited access to improved seedlings. Nigeria’s yam productivity is significantly lower than that of other yam-producing countries such as Ghana and Ivory Coast.
The low productivity of yam in Nigeria has resulted in a decline in the country’s yam exports. This has also led to a reduction in the income of yam farmers, who are struggling to make ends meet.
ACCESS TO FERTILIZERS AND OTHER AGRICULTURAL INPUTS
Another challenge facing yam production in Nigeria is limited access to fertilizers and other agricultural inputs. This is due to the high cost of these inputs and the limited availability of credit facilities for farmers. As a result, many yam farmers are unable to afford these inputs, which are essential for improving soil fertility and increasing crop yields.
In addition, the lack of access to improved seedlings is also a major challenge facing yam production in Nigeria. Many yam farmers still rely on traditional varieties of yam, which have lower yields and are more susceptible to diseases and pests.
POST-PLANTING AND POST-HARVEST CHALLENGES
Post-planting and post-harvest challenges are also major challenges facing yam production in Nigeria. These challenges include poor storage facilities, inadequate transportation infrastructure, and limited access to markets.
Many yam farmers in Nigeria still use traditional methods of storage, such as burying their yams in the ground. This makes their yams susceptible to pests and diseases, which can significantly reduce their yields. In addition, the lack of adequate transportation infrastructure makes it difficult for farmers to transport their yams to markets, leading to significant post-harvest losses.
Furthermore, the dominance of oil in the Nigerian economy has led to a neglect of the agricultural sector, including yam production. Many traders prefer to import yams from neighboring countries such as Ghana, rather than buying from Nigerian farmers.
In conclusion, the challenges facing yam production in Nigeria are significant and require urgent attention. Addressing these challenges will require a concerted effort from the government, farmers, and other stakeholders in the agricultural sector.
The production of yam is a significant contributor to the economy of Nigeria. As the world’s largest producer of yams, Nigeria has a competitive advantage in the global market. The top 10 yam producing states in Nigeria have shown impressive growth and development in their agricultural sector, which has led to increased yields and improved quality of produce.