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                                         Information @ a Glance
General
  • The peanut, or Groundnut (Arachis hypogaea), is a species in the legume family Fabaceae native to South America, Mexico and Central America.
  • Groundnut  is an annual herbaceous plant growing from 30 to 50 cm (1 to 1 ft) tall. The leaves are opposite, pinnate with four leaflets , each leaflet 1 to 7 cm  long and 1 to 3 cm broad.
  • The flowers are a typical peaflower in shape, 2 to 4 cm  across, yellow with reddish veining. After pollination, the fruit develops into a legume 3 to 7 cm long containing 1 to 4 seeds, which forces its way underground to mature.
  • Peanuts are also known as earthnuts, goobers, goober peas, pindas, jack nuts, pinders, manila nuts and monkey nuts.
     

Cultivation

  • Peanuts grow best in light, sandy loam soil. They require five months of warm weather, and an annual rainfall of 500 to 1000 mm  or the equivalent in irrigation water.
  • The pods ripen 120 to 150 days after the seeds are planted. If the crop is harvested too early, the pods will be unripe. If they are harvested late, the pods will snap off at the stalk, and will remain in the soil.
  • Peanuts are particularly susceptible to contamination during growth and storage.
  • Poor storage of peanuts can lead to an infection by the mold fungus Aspergillus flavus, releasing the toxic substance aflatoxin.
  • After the peanuts have dried sufficiently, they will then be threshed. This removes the peanut pods from the rest of the bush.

Application

  • Popular confections include salted peanuts, peanut butter, peanut brittle, and shelled nuts. Salted peanuts are usually roasted in oil and packed in retail size, plastic bags or hermetically sealed cans.
  • Dry roasted, salted peanuts are also marketed in significant quantities.
  • The primary use of peanut butter is in the home, but large quantities are also used in the commercial manufacture of sandwiches, candy, and bakery products.
  • Boiled peanuts are a preparation of raw, unshelled green peanuts boiled in brine and typically eaten as a snack in the southern United States where most peanuts are grown.
  •  More recently, peanuts can be fried, where they can be eaten both shell and nut.

Market

  • India, China, and the United States produce about 70 percent of the world's groundnuts.

  • Throughout the world, farmers cultivate about 22.23 million hectares of groundnut , of which 13.69 million hectares are in Asia, 7.39 million hectares in Sub-Saharan Africa, and 0.7 million hectares in Central and South America.

  • US processors have no longer the incentive to import food quality groundnuts since the US is a competitive net exporter in world markets.

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