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Insight & Analysis - June 6, 2022

5 Commercial Activities that Thrive in Owo, Ondo State

The recent catholic church killing in Owo, Ondo State, has brought to a standstill commercial activities in the South-Western part of Nigeria.

The city, predominately populated by the Yoruba ethnic group, has a rich agricultural history. 

Owo is also known for other commercial activities that drive the economy of Ondo State and Nigeria at large. 

Here are some notable commercial activities in Owo. 

Agricultural Produce

Agriculture remains one of the most important sectors of the Nigerian economy. Owo is a local government in Ondo State. It is known for its cultivation of yams, cassava, cocoyam, maize, okra, pepper, rice, palm oil and kernels, and pumpkins.

Cocoyam, the third most significant tuber crop in South-West Nigeria after yam and cassava, has been a constant element of the farming system in Owo for many years.

Yam is also an important cash crop and one of the most widely eaten foods. The country’s yearly yam production is over 38.92 million metric tonnes.


Owo serves as a key cocoa market. The cash crop is majorly grown in the centre of the Ondo state.

It serves as the primary cocoa-producing state in Nigeria. Despite its importance to the country’s economy, cocoa exports have declined in recent years.

From 2016 to 2020, the most remarkable record of cocoa exports was $302.06 million in 2018, compared to $627.03 million in 2014.

In 2020, it generated $292.39 million compared to $248.78 million in 2019. In the same year, cocoa beans made for 0.82% of Nigeria’s total goods exports.


Cotton is grown in the northern part of the state. According to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade, Nigeria’s cotton exports were $15.69 million in 2020. In the same year, the country accounted for 27.89% of cotton production.


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Timber and sawmilling

Timber and sawmilling are also one of the commercial activities in the city of Owo in Ondo state. It is a business that is prominent among the Owo people.

Timbers are woods that have been processed into beams and planks, which is a stage in wood manufacturing. Other timber merchants use the city as a base of operations.

The residents of Owo also have sawmills or timber mills for processing logs of wood into lumber and selling them. 

Modern sawmills cut logs lengthwise to produce long pieces and across based on standard or bespoke sizes using a motorised saw.


The city is not left out of the financial development, as it has branches of some of Nigeria’s most well-known banks, such as First Bank Plc, Wema Bank Plc, Skye Bank Plc, Enterprise Bank Ltd. (previously Omega Bank Plc), and others.

All in all, the city’s growth is fueled by its road network, notably the dualization of the major road from Emure junction to the Iyere exit. The city is presently undergoing a dramatic transformation. In Owo, a new ultra-modern market has opened.

Commercial growth has been on the upswing, but the recent gruesome killings may hamper the city’s investment and productivity amid security concerns.


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