This question boils down to a few key factors: total amount planted, the rate of yield, and the revenue per unit sold. Not surprisingly, many of the most valuable crops are what some may call “illicit”.
The most planted crops throughout the world are wheat and maize (corn). Rice and soybeans are other key staples. However, these are all relatively low yielding and do not make enough revenue per tonne of product produced. 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%.
The World’s Most Valuable Cash Crop
Infographic source: Information is Beautiful