Growth in the consumer sector has been a bright spot in Nigeria's economy, with many of the fastest-growing industries focused on the country's rapidly growing private consumer demand. Thanks to a very large population (more than 160m in 2011 growing at 2.5% annually) and a rising retail sales growth.
There are several profitable cash crops in Nigeria. But cash crops like palm oil, ground nuts, cocoa, and lately cassava have kept Nigeria’s name on the world map of exports for decades in spite of the neglect of the agricultural sector during the oil boom.
According to reports by the World Bank and many indigenous research institutions, Nigeria is deemed as the largest cassava producing nation in the world. Today, Nigeria is said to be highest exporter of cassava with an annual production of about 45 million metric tonnes.
Despite the abudance of fertile lands and favourable weather considered very good for agriculture in Nigeria, the country still ranks amongst the top three net importer of food items in the world, a situation some analyst have described as worrisome.
According to the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, the Federal Government spent over N99 trillion on the importation of food between 2007 and 2010.