The cultivated groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.), originated in South America (Bolivia and adjoining countries) and is now grown throughout the tropical and warm temperate regions of the world. This crop was grown widely by native people of the New World at the time of European expansion in the sixteenth century and was subsequently taken to Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific Islands. Groundnut was introduced to the present south-eastern United States during colonial times. Groundnuts were grown primarily as a garden crop in the United States until 1870. As a field crop, the crop was frequently used for pig pasture until about 1930. In South Africa, groundnuts are grown in the summer rainfall regions under irrigated or rainfed conditions. Resource limited farmers, especially in the northern and eastern parts of South Africa, grow groundnuts mainly for their own consumption. Groundnuts are an important source of nutrition in the northern KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga areas.
Groundnuts require a high temperature and a frost-free period of about 160 days. They will not reach optimum maturity for a marketable yield to justify commercial production in areas with fewer heat units during the growing season. They are very sensitive to low temperatures and seeds should only be planted when the minimum temperature stabilizes above 18 °C. Moisture is another critical factor for successful groundnut production. Planting must be done on moist warm soils to speed-up the germination process. Rainfall in the region of 500 to 700 mm per annum will be satisfactory for good yields of groundnuts. Groundnuts grow best in well-drained, red-colored, yellow-red and red, fertile, sandy to sandy loam soils with a pH range of 5, 5 to 7, 0. Saline soils are not suitable because groundnuts have a very low salt tolerance.
- United States
Production of Groundnuts in India
- Andhra Pradesh
- Tamil Nadu
Seeds yield non-drying, edible oil, used in cooking, margarines, salads, canning, and deep-frying; the oil content of the groundnut kernels is between 45% and 55%. Groundnut oil contains high levels of energy, fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) and essential fatty acids. Seeds can be eaten raw or boiled and roasted for immediate consumption. They can be chopped into confectioneries, or ground into peanut butter. Groundnuts are also used for sweets (brittle). Young pods may be consumed as a vegetable. Young leaves and tips are suitable as a cooked green vegetable. Other products include ice cream, massage oil and peanut milk. Groundnut oil can be used in various ways at different levels within the industry. A raw material for manufacturing pharmaceuticals, soaps, hair creams, cosmetics, dyes, paints, lubricants; emulsions for insect control and fuel for diesel engines. It can also be used to produce a fluid diet used to strengthen patients physically and sharpen their appetites before and after operations. The hulls are used for furfural and as filler for fertilizers.
March-April & October-November