Edo State has three ecological zones: in the south, the rain forest, with some mangrove swamp; in the central, a little rain forest and savannah; and in the north, more savannah and a little rain forest. The vegetation belts of the state can be generalized into: Fresh Water Swamp, Lowland Rain Forest and Derived Savanna. Edo State is endowed with favorable climatic conditions and ecological conditions that have given ground to a blossoming agricultural sector? (Subsistence farming). The state enjoys almost nine months of rainfall in the southern part of the state. The state’s weather can be classified into two seasons: rainy season starting from April to October and dry season from November to March with a cold harmattan spell between December and January. Prominent crops grown in the state include rubber, oil palm, cashew, cassava, rice, maize and cocoa.
The state has an estimated 1.1 – 1.6 million hectares of cultivatable land, accounting for 70% of its total land mass. The state derives an estimated 40% of its revenue from proceeds from agriculture.
Growing the potential of agriculture in the state has been a priority for the state government. There have been numerous initiatives aimed at engaging the youths in agriculture. Recently, as part of a larger plan to cultivate 5000 hectares of farmland across the state, the state government revamped the Edo Fertilizer Plant and Chemical Company, Auchi in a private public partnership (PPP) initiative with WACOT limited to manage the facility – the facility is the only one of its kind in the region and is expected to also serve demand from Ondo, Delta, Kogi and other neighboring states. The state also in another PPP initiative with Saro Agro Sciences Limited to run a 450-hectare maize farm with the aim of making feed.
Rubber is grown in Esan, Owan, Orhiomwon, AkokoEdo, Ovia and Uhunmwode areas of the state. The state also houses the Rubber Research Institute of Nigeria, Iyanomo, Edo state.
Rice, the most consumed food commodity in Nigeria is grown in the state in commercial quantities in Ekpoma, Ilushi, Agbede, Agenebode and surrounding areas.
The state grows over 200million tonnes of cassava annually. Pineapples are grown in Ehor LGA. The state is the largest producer of oil palm in the country, also housing the National Institute for Oil Palm Research NIFOR.