Cash Crops Around the World

Farmers are not in the business just for their health. Besides sometimes growing much of the food that they eat, farmers also need cash to buy the tools of the trade, as well as for everyday dry goods and occasional luxuries. The surest way to gain cash year after year has traditionally been via the so-called “cash crops.”

Not surprisingly, the most lucrative cash crops from a value per acre perspective are illegal in many parts of the world. With a higher risk to grow these, there is a higher reward for the farmers. Cannabis has a value of $47.7 million per square kilometre, while coca weighs in at $37.7 million and opium poppies $6 million per sq. km. … From an absolute value perspective, the world’s most valuable cash crop is cannabis as well. It is followed by rice, maize, and then wheat.

The most lucrative legal crops include tomatoes ($1.4 million per sq. km) and grapes ($625,000 per sq. km). Interestingly, tobacco comes in the middle of the pack with a value of $277,000 per sq. km. Rapeseed (also known as canola) comes in at $60,000 per sq. km.

… The highest yielding crops are sugar cane, sugar beet, and tomatoes. Sugar cane accounts for about 80% of the world’s sugar production, while sugar beet the remaining 20%.

__ VisualCapitalist

Coca, Cannabis, and Opium Poppy are the three most profitable “cash crops” in terms of dollars per square km. Other crops grown for their “mind-altering” effects include tea, coffee, cocoa, grapes (wine), barley (beer/whisky), maize (bourbon), sugar cane (rum) — and miscellaneous alcoholic drinks are made from rice, wheat, and other crops.


98% of the world’s coca is grown in Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia.

Bolivia is the third largest producer of cocaine in the world, after Colombia and Peru.

The plant constitutes the raw material for cocaine production, but since pre-colonial times it has also been used in everyday life by the indigenous population, who chew the leaves, use it in teas and for religious rituals. It is also used for cosmetics and medicines.

For the Yungas, as the people here call themselves, coca growing is a tradition passed down from generation to generation. __ Coca


Cannabis is grown around the world — it is the world’s most valuable cash crop in terms of dollars per square km. High in the Himalayas, villagers grow cannabis for making a form of hashish called “charas.”

About half the citizens of this village, which will not be named in this article for the villagers’ protection against police retaliation, make their living by manually extracting a valuable resin, known as “charas,” from the live plants of cannabis indica, a flower that is native to India. It is a risky life that Suraj lives, making money in a country where marijuana use is widespread and tolerated, but its cultivation is illegal. __ Cannabis

Opium Poppy

Opium is also quite lucrative as a cash crop world-wide, although it is in for stiff competition from synthetic opioids from the fentanyl class.

Locals say farmers have been planting both crops [opium and cannabis] here since at least the 1970s, and prices for both have fallen steadily. Bulk marijuana that once sold for as much as $40 per kilo now sells for $10. Farmers don’t make much money on either crop. [Opium paste has dropped from $1000 per kg to only $250 per kg] __ More

More on Mexican Opium . . .

Some Legal Cash Crops

Tea originated in China thousands of years ago. Large amounts of Tea are still grown in China, but cultivation has spread to Southeast Asia, South Asia, parts of the middle east, Africa, and beyond.

Coffee originated in Africa, but is now grown around the world in tropical and semi-tropical zones.

Tobacco originated in the Americas, but the largest grower of tobacco is now China.

Cocoa (from cacao trees) originated several thousand years ago in Central America. It is cultivated in tropical countries around the world, mostly in Africa and Latin America.

Unsurprisingly, most of the top 10 cocoa-producing countries come from warm, wet climates similar to where the bean originated. However, nations across four continents make the top 10, and the largest contingent does not comes from the Americas, with four of the top five nations found in Africa.

Each country and region has its own set of cash crops that can be grown and sold. Profitability for cash crops may fluctuate wildly from year to year or decade to decade. It is up to each farmer to keep up with the way markets may change over time.

China’s Cash Crops

Many of the online [China cash crop] vendors contacted by ABC News claimed to operate in the area around the city of Wuhan, a hub of Chinese chemical manufacturing. __ Wuhan Again

Besides experimenting with the manufacture and distribution of fentanyl-like opiates and other illegal drugs, China is experimenting with the potential use of viral agents as cash crops. There is nothing so lucrative as being the only one to possess the antidote to a deadly toxin that has been spread around the world. For cash-flow purposes it is not the individual attempt at global extortion that is important, merely that the wide-ranging project be pressed forward with due diligence and effort.

The Kind of Conspiracy Theory that Arises in Such Cases

Last year a mysterious shipment was caught smuggling Coronavirus from Canada. It was traced to Chinese agents working at a Canadian lab. Subsequent investigation by GreatGameIndia linked the agents to Chinese Biological Warfare Program from where the virus is suspected to have leaked causing the Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak.

The map above shows the seafood market at the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic — and its proximity to the Wuhan bioweapons-affiliated institution.

There is a downside to using lethal viruses as a cash crop:

100,000 may have already been infected

Meanwhile, Chinese and global financial markets are being hit by fears that a lethally modified virus may have found its way onto global jetways. Some factories in China are being closed as a precaution and some regional neighbors of China are beginning to panic.

A less conspiratorial view of the coronavirus outbreak

China’s lethal bioweapons programs are reminiscent of the earlier Soviet programs, which experienced multiple leaks — some of which had lethal results. Beijing’s “end-game” is not clear, other than wishing to possess any and all lethal tools it can devise or steal.

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1 Response to Cash Crops Around the World

  1. JerryO says:

    This site is phenomenal. Thanks for all you do

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