77 Best Cash Crops to Grow

7 Best Cash Crops to Grow


The first problem in dealing with “cash crops” is that the term is used in different ways. Cash crops are defined as those crops for which the output is sold on a cash basis, irrespective of whether it can be stored. In this we will describe “7 Best Cash Crops to Grow”. Cash crops include four major factors.

  • all marketed surplus
  • non-staple agriculture
  • non food agriculture
  • export agriculture

Before describing cash crops to grow it is important to know the significance of the cash crops.

Importance of cash crops:

The cash crops have both long term and short term importance.

  • In case of short term advantage it acts as utilization of extra food to be sold in the market. It also has economic significance. By selling these products it provides a means of increasing income through the exploitation of comparative advantage.
  • In the long term, these benefits can be reinforced by indirect effects, including specialization, economies of scale.
  • The cash crops of specific regions with high qualitative and quantitative yield can attract international attention and can also be very helpful for the farming communities and economics of the country.
  • The cultivation of cash crops is an essential part of the agricultural sector. It provides the farmers with a source of income and also helps them in increasing the productivity. Through this, they can achieve higher income which is directly proportional to the increase in production.
  • Cash crops also play a huge role in global food security. The farmers of the country could choose cash crops which are useful for them and also help in increasing their income.

7 Best Cash Crops to Grow

1. Rice:

Rice is being grown in many parts of the world and is considered as staple food for the people. In India, rice is being cultivated on a very large scale and contributes to the total production of rice in the country. Over the years its economic value has increased up to a great extent.

Rice is also very useful in the production of biofuels, animal food and edible oils. The proper sowing time of rice is in vernal, which is from the first week of March to the last week of April. The rice yield is very high and it can be harvested at a young age.

The rice growing countries export rice to over 120 countries in the world. Alone rice production is 3.5% part of GDP of the Philippines. The total area under cultivation in India was 43.86 million hectares during 2014-15 which is nearly 142 per cent higher as compared to the 1950-51.

7 Best Cash Crops to Grow

2. Maize:

Maize is one the most important cash crops to be grown in the world. It is the second most important food crop in India after rice. It is sown in the mid May to August and is grown commercially in over 30 countries. For hybrid varieties you need 8-10 kg/acre seed.

Maize is very significant because it has different minerals, vitamins, fiber and oil present in maize. Maize is one of the most important crops in South America, where it produces over 17% of the world’s supply. In regards to production, the USA is on the top of the list with 3,50,000 tons.

Estimation reveals that at 1% increase in output of maize crop agricultural GDP increased by 0.77% and at 1% increase in area under maize crop bring 3.88% increase in agricultural GDP.

7 Best Cash Crops to Grow

3. Wheat:

Wheat is one the most important cash crops and it has been cultivated over 39.1% on land. The export value is very high as its global export is 184.3 million tons.

The wheat is sown in October and December and its seed rate is 125-150 Kg/hac. The biggest producer of the wheat is China then after this is the US in regards to the production. China is also the highest producer of wheat in the world.

Wheat has a very high impact factor in regards to balancing trades, decreases private consumption and increases the GDP of a country.

The wheat has very high carbohydrates and other nutritional values. Therefore it is a staple food of more than 16 countries and grown in more than 36 countries. It is used for baking  crumpets, muffins, noodles, pasta, biscuits, cakes, pastries, cereal bars, sweet and savory snack foods, crackers, and crisp-breads.

7 Best Cash Crops to Grow

4. Soybeans:

Soybean is one of the most important crops in the category of cereals and oil seeds. Total of 9% arable land is used for the cultivation of soybeans. Since 1993 the total area of soybean cultivation has increased up to double.

Soybean is rich in protein and has digestible energy. The soymeal is mostly used for the animal feed after the oil is extracted from the seeds. Some of the most common products produced with soybeans are tofu, soy milk, soy sauce, tempeh, and soy flour. About 85 % of soybeans grown around the world are used to make vegetable oils.

Soybean is mostly sown in April and early May and harvested in September. The seed rate of soybean is about 20-30 Kg/acre. Soybean is mainly sown in the rainy season.

The soybeans are usually planted in the furrow and later in the row, in a single line. After planting, the seedlings are immediately irrigated with the spray in order to increase the seedling size and to avoid lodging. Soybean is an important crop for Asian countries.

5. Sugarcane:

Sugarcane was one of the first cash crops of colonial America. The original sugarcane was a wild grass native to the islands of the Caribbean. The first sugarcane crop in North America was planted on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, in 1696.

Sugarcane cultivation provides livelihood to over 50 million people. 75% of the sugar is made by the sugarcane. World wide people cultivate more than 30 million hectare of sugarcane.

The sowing of sugarcane must be planted from 5 to inches apart and soil type is Sandy to sandy-loam and loam are preferable.

7 Best Cash Crops to Grow

6. Coffee:

If you talk about the 2nd most exported commodity in the world, it is coffee. In 2019 total export of coffee was $ 19.3 billion. In the USA consumers spent more than $74.2 billion on coffee in 2015. In 2014 Ethiopia produced over 40% of the world’s coffee.

Coffee cultivation also increases agricultural sustainability. It decreases soil erosion, a good carbon sink, aids good watershed management, good to maintain biodiversity, and also beneficial for the migrating birds.

The coffee seeds must be soaked in the water for 24 hours. After 24hrs sow the seeds in the damp sand or place the seeds in between moist coffee sacks. After emergence and full development of coffee tree coffee seeds can be removed from the medium.

7 Best Cash Crops to Grow

7. Cotton:

Cotton is the most profitable non-food crop in the agriculture sector. More than 7% of people are related to the growth of cotton. Cotton is also called the “White Gold” in the developing countries. Its production provides income to more than 270 million people in the world. 

Cotton has various uses in the textile industries and it can be easily turned into wool or linen. 

Sowing time of cotton is from April to May. Before sowing the seed the seed treatment is very important as it protects the crop from early insect pest attack. 

For further information regarding best possible way to grow crop you can also read “Proven Guide on How to Grow Crops“.

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