Nigeria has two distinct seasons-the dry and the rainy season. The dry season runs from November to march while the rainy season runs from April to October. Being the tropics (Tropic of Capricorn) the rains are understandably heavy. In the northern Nigeria, the dry season is longer. The landscape runs from equatorial rain belt in the south to arid desert in the north.
With virtually large land mass of Nigeria, the land is mostly fertile for agricultural activities and all states in Nigeria produces one, two or more different crops at the same time or different seasons. Farmers depend mostly on irrigation during the dry season in the north because of the elongated period.
Mostly four or five different states in Nigeria can produce the same crop because they share the same geographical weather attribute but nevertheless, the quality output is always differ due to many factors.
1 land fertility
2 Mode of harvest
3 Technical know how of the farmer (Literacy measure)
4 Method of preservation
5 Quantity of output
Land fertility: because of prolong farming activities in some states and the over dependent of fertilizer, the quality of output decline because of the in ability of the soil to generate quality nutrient. These changes in quality output it is not always visible or notice until a standard text is done in the laboratory and mostly, exporters and traders ignore this point because they can mix the low quality output with high quality crop from another state to arrive at a preferred specification.
Mode of Harvest: most state with long time farming experience can have a very high quality output than the state that just started the farming of the same crop. For instance, quality of cocoa bean seed from Ondo state is higher than cross river state because when farmer from Ondo state takes time (like 6days) for their cocoa to ferment, cross river farmer ferment cocoa for 3days which makes slatty to be much during quality checking process.
Technical know-how of the farmer (Literacy measure): From planting to harvesting of crops, most un-educated farmers do not know how to handle their farming. No seminal is attended to learn more on how to use herbicide and pesticide to generate good quality output they stick to olden day’s method of farming thereby limiting their quality output. When other state farmers are being enlighten on how to plant well formulated seedlings, other illiterate farmers does not have the access to such information because they are limited to a place.
Method of preservation: Most farmers still use harmful chemicals for preservation thereby increasing the percentage of aflatoxins in the harvested grains/crops. Low number of agricultural extension has contributed to this factor and still contributing. Most farmers are running away from shortages after harvest, they use harmful chemicals which are dangerous to human consumption for preservation this differs from state to state in Nigeria.
Quantity of output: Most of the time, because of low quantity output of grains/crops most farmers use dubious means to increase the weight i.e. tonnage before selling to prospective customers/client. During the harvest, when most farmers discover low output they will add up sand or heavy impurities to increase the weight in the bag and these practices had made most exporters/traders to run away from some states and buy from other state even when the price seems higher, they paid because of assured quality.
Hint* Picking samples from state to state might not help you because you might be lucky to pick the best sample at a point and during large quantity buying, quality might be differ. Ask other people on the field for the best state that produces good quality and move your buying sport to this location it will help you more.