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What Are the Different Crops in Africa?

The different crops in Africa include both those for sustenance and export. Corn or maize is a key African crop as is the starchy root cassava. Many grains, fruits and vegetables are grown in Africa. Fish, goats and ostriches are also a part of African agriculture. Other important African crops include wool, cotton, tobacco, tea, coffee, sugar cane, nuts, seeds and cut flowers.

Many popular flowers grow well in Africa which makes cut blooms, plants and bulbs an export crop that depends upon worldwide demand. The colorful Gerbera or African daisy is native to South Africa and was one of the earliest types of flower crops in Africa. Roses, gladioli and amaryllis bulbs as well as a variety of green plants are common African exports to the floral industry.

Sunflowers are also grown as crops, but the seeds are mainly used for oil production. South Africa is known as a major producer of sunflower seeds. Macadamia nuts and pecans are common African nut crops. Sugar cane growth and production is common throughout Africa, but a lack of adequate water irrigation in some countries can make it a limited crop. South Africa is typically the region with the highest production of African sugar cane.

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East Africa, including Kenya and Rwanda, are known for their coffee crops, while the Western Cape Cederberg section of South Africa produces teas including the herbal rooibos variety. Rooibos is an herb native to Africa. Oriental and Virginia are main types of African tobacco. South Africa is a major producer of tobacco crops.

Cotton crops in Africa are grown both with irrigation systems and on dry land. Angora goats are raised for mohair, while sheep produce Merino wool crops in Africa. Ostriches are used to produce leather products, while goats are often farmed for milk or meat. African fish farm crops include trout, tilapia, catfish, oysters and mussels.

Yams, potatoes, avocados, tomatoes and onions are common African vegetable crops. Fruit crop types include grapefruit, pears, plums, apricots, mangoes, peaches, apples, melons, pineapples, guavas, plantains and bananas. South Africa is known for its grape production for wine. Cassava, the starchy root in which tapioca is derived, is one of the main crops of Africa. Typically, cassava is grown on small farms with other crop types.

Maize, another staple African crop, can be widespread in its growth, but this depends on the availability of irrigation systems in certain areas. Reunion, Mauritius and Egypt are often associated with maize growing. Other African grain crops include sorghum, millet, oats, wheat and rice. Rice crops in Africa are often grown in more urban areas, including parts of Egypt, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Liberia, Guinea and Mali.

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umbra21
Post 3

@KoiwiGal - Those would be grown in other places in Africa though. People tend to think of Africa as being homogeneous, but it has so many varied landscapes and you can pretty much grow anything you want as long as you don't expect to grow it all in one place.

One of the more important crops at the moment seems to be shea butter, since that is grown in a lot of places in Africa and it's a pretty good cash crop for the people. They can't eat it though, as far as I know, so it requires good, dependable systems in place to ensure that it ends up making money for them in the end, since there is no alternative use for it.

KoiwiGal
Post 2

@bythewell - Passing through on vacation, the thing I remember the most was the brilliant onion fields in the middle of nowhere. There would be all this barren, red clay and then suddenly you would come across a tiny emerald oasis around a stream or a well.

People also sold a lot of peanuts in the markets from what I remember. I'd never seen peanuts that were still on the stalks before.

I've got to admit, though, I did miss the cold weather crops you can't get in hot places, like apples and broccoli and other things like that.

bythewell
Post 1

I lived in West Africa for a while and I really miss some of the food there. During one part of the year they couldn't give mangoes away, they were so common and I ate two or three per day, fresh off the tree. I was also very fond of guavas, which I hardly ever see in supermarkets here, and the watermelons there were so sweet and delicious you wouldn't believe it.

The main crop seemed to be millet though and that was what most people grew to feed their families. They would then use the millet stalks as thatching for sheds and things like that, or for the roofs of huts in the countryside.

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