CULTIVATION OF GROUNDNUT (Arachis hypogea). groundnut is an important cash crop in Nigeria.
mostly grown in large quantities in Northern Nigeria it is generally cultivated all over the Nigerian federation.
the uses or importance of the cultivation of groundnut cannot be exhausted as it is used for so many things.
i will be listing the various uses of groundnut but for now, let us look at how to cultivate groundnut
what is groundnut?
Groundnut is a dual-purpose crop. It can be cultivated as an oil crop as well as a protein or a pulse or leguminous crop.
Although groundnut is a leguminous crop, it is mainly grown for its oil, used for the production of animal feeds, for making soup in Africa, eating locally in combination with maize, garri or bread
what does groundnut seed contain?
The seed called nut contains about 40 – 55% oil, 30% protein and 18% carbohydrate. Industrial products of groundnut include:
(i) Groundnut cake.
(ii) Groundnut oil.
(iii) Groundnut butter.
Land Preparation for the cultivation of groundnut
The land is cleared, stumping is done and land can also be prepared mechanically by ploughing, harrowing and ridging.
Varieties/Cultivars of groundnut
Bunch or erect type, creeping type, Kano local, Kano 50 and castle carry.
Climatic requirement for the cultivation of groundnut
Groundnut requires a temperature of 25C – 30C, and rainfall of 70 – 100cm per annum.
Maturity Period groundnut cultivation
: It matures between four to six months.
process of Harvesting groundnut
: Harvesting is done when the lower leaves turn brown and begin to fall. Harvesting is done by using native hoes or by pulling the plants up by hand. The nuts are then picked from the plant root and stem.
Harvest 102 – 150 days after planting, depending on the variety. Harvesting can be done manually or mechanically by uprooting the plant and allowing them to dry for easy removal of pods.
Processing and storage of groundnut after cultivation
: Harvested nuts are dried properly. The seeds are removed from the shells by pounding them slightly in mortars or by beating them with sticks.
Small shelling or decorticating machine can also be used to remove the seeds from the pod.
Storage: Dried groundnuts can be stored in clean rhumbus or silos. The unshelled pods are stored in sacks while the shelled nuts are stored in bags. The shelled nuts are treated with insecticides before storage.