All About the GROUNDNUT


Groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) is known by many names, including peanut, earthnut, monkey nut and poor man’s nut. it is a major crop grown in the arid and semi-arid zone of Nigeria. The oldest groundnut (or peanut) was found in Peru and dated to about 5600 BC.

It was introduced to China only in the 17th century, but today China is its largest producer, followed by India, USA, Nigeria and Indonesia.

Nigeria produces 30% of Africa’s total, followed by Senegal and Sudan with each about 8%, and Ghana and Chad with about 5% each. They are grown nearly exclusively for domestic use, either for consumption or as cash crop for small farmers. Groundnuts are used as foodstuffs in many different forms. It is either grown for its nut, oil or its vegetative residue (haulms).

Recently, the use of groundnut meal is becoming more recognized not only as a dietary supplement for children on protein poor cereals-based diets but also as effective treatment for children with protein related malnutrition.

It is the 13th most important food crop of the world and the 4th most important source of edible oil. Its seeds contain high quality edible oil (50%), easily digestible protein (25%) and carbohydrates (20%) (FAO, 1994).

The crop is mainly grown in the northern part of Nigeria; over 85% of the groundnuts produced in the country were accounted for by Kano, Kaduna, Taraba, Bauchi, Bornu, and Adamawa states (Abal and Harkness, 1978)

Health benefits and nutrition facts of peanut

peanut Nutrition Facts Label

Nutrition Facts Label- healthyhabitshub

Groundnut is rich in oil and protein, and has a high energy value. It can be eaten raw, roasted or cooked and the flour is an ingredient in many foods. Groundnut is important in vegetarian diets because of the protein it contains. It provides 13 different vitamins, especially A, the B group, C and E, along with 26 essential trace minerals, including calcium, iron, zinc and boron, and dietary fiber. Relief agencies supply groundnut pastes to alleviate malnourishment in droughts and famines, particularly in children

Other benefits of Groundnut

  • Reducing of heart disease and diabetes risk
    Studies have shown that consuming an ounce of peanuts a day can decrease risk of heart disease by half and diabetes risk by a quarter.
  • Weight loss
    A weight loss study conducted at Penn State University concluded that the group eating a moderate-fat diet that included peanut oil, peanut butter and peanuts kept their triglycerides low during the weight maintenance period. Despite similar weight loss, in the group that was kept on a low-fat diet, triglycerides rebounded and ‘good’ HDL cholesterol decreased during the weight maintenance period.
  • Vitamin B complex
    One cup of raw peanuts makes up for 110% of recommended daily intake of niacin (vitamin B3), 88% of folate, 81% of vitamin E, 78% of thiamine (vitamin B1), 30% of vitamin B6, and 15% of riboflavin (vitamin B2). Research show that these vitamins help in protecting against Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive decline and heart disease. They also play an essential role in many other processes in our body.

Health concerns

  • Peanut allergy is a type of hypersensitive response in some people. The symptoms may have severe manifestation and can be life threatening. Avoid peanuts if you are allergic to any other nuts.
  • Don’t give peanuts to children under one year old.
  • Peanuts are also susceptible to mold that can lead to high concentration of aflatoxin, which is a known carcinogenic. Roasting may reduce level of aflatoxin to a certain point.


Groundnuts  has a wide variety of uses such as:

  • Groundnut oil
  • Peanut butter
  • Used to Coat local beef kebab before roasting (suya)
  • Used for making of local sweets (kulikuli)
  • Biodiesel fuel
  • Peanut laxatives
  • Peanut dye
  • Peanut shampoo
  • Peanut insecticide
  • Peanut explosives
  • Peanut glue

Among other things…


Groundnut Plantation

Groundnut Plantation

Groundnut is grown in a well-drained sandy loam, or sandy clay loam soil. Deep well drained soil with high fertility. An optimum soil temperature for good germination is 30oC. it is usually grown in rotation with cereals as it help in efficient nutrient utilization and reduces soil borne diseases.

Land preparation should ensure that all crop residues and weeds are completely buried; ploughing and harrowing are also carried out to make a seed bed of fine tilth for proper germination and growth of crops. It could be sown on ridge or on flat. The recommended spacing for groundnut is 75 cm between the rows and 25 cm between the plants within the rows. Fertilizer can be applied at the rate of 54 kg/ha P2 O5 and 25 kg/ha K2O for good crop production; and can be applied before or immediately after planting.

Planting should be done as soon as possible after the onset of the rains. Early planting is recommended to avoid rosette attack.


Ground nut Aphid: Aphis craccivora  Koch


Ground nut aphid injects a powerful toxin into the plant while feeding and, when populations are large, this can stunt or kill plants. While feeding, this aphid produces a considerable amount of honeydew upon which sooty mold grows. The black sooty mold reduces photosynthesis and may make leaves unpalatable to livestock. Damage symptoms include yellowing, wilting, and dieback. In general, legumes can be seriously damaged, either by direct insect feeding or by the transmission of virus diseases (Rossette & Peanut strip virus.)


  • Inella septumpunctata,Menochilus sexmaculatus & Chrysoperla carnea keeps the pest under check. ( if 1  predator per plant no need of insecticide application.) Grow cowepea +Ground nut.
  • Phosphamidon 0.03 %
  • M-O-D 0.025 %
  • Dimethoate 0.03 %


Jassids: Empoasca kerri Bachluchaspp

Jassids: Empoasca kerri Bachluchaspp

Jassids: Empoasca kerri Bachluchaspp


Both adults and nymphs suck sap from young leaves, mostly from the lower surface. The first symptom of attack is a whitening of the veins. Yellow patches then appear, especiallythe tips of leaflets. Under severe infestation, the leaf tips become necrotic in a typical ‘v’ shape, giving the crop a scorched appearance known as ‘hopper burn’ The eggs are inserted in to the leaf tissue close to the midrib or into the petiole. The egg hatch in a week and nymphs in to adult in 10 days. The infestation is high during August and September and February and March.


In the initial crop growth i.e. up to 30 days after emergence, if more than 10% of all leaves have the characteristic ‘hopper burn’, apply Dimethoate at 200-250 ml a.i./ha.

Cultural Control

  • Tmely sowing of the crop and field sanitation.
  • Grow tolerant varieties like Girnar 1. Crop rotation with non host crop.
  • Intercropping with pearl millet, Avoid groundnut-castor inter crop, it increases the infestation.
  • Irrigate once to avoid prolonged mid season drought to prevent pre-harvest.


Mechanical Control

Collect and destroy the affected parts of the plant

Biological Control

Conserve bio agents like praying mantis, long horned grass hoppers, dragon flies spiders, green muscardine fungus.

Chemical Control

  • Apply safe chemical insecticides at recommended doses only if the insect population crosses the ETL
  • Spray dimethoate 30EC @ 650ml/ha or Monochrotophos 36SL @ 600ml/ha in 600 liter water.

Thrips: (Scirtothrips dorsalis, Thrips palmi)

 Thrips: (Scirtothrips dorsalis, Thrips palmi)

Thrips: (Scirtothrips dorsalis, Thrips palmi)



Nymphs and adults lacerate the surface of the leaflets and suck the oozing sap resulting in white patches on lower surface of the leaves and distortion of young leaflets. Severe infestations cause stunted plants. Thrips palmi transmits peanut bud necrosis.

Cultural Control

  • Grow tolerant varieties like ALR 3, Robut 33-1, Kadiri 3 and ICGS 86031
  • Several groundnut accessions like 21018 have been identified as resistant to thrips.

Mechanical Control

Uproot and destroy severely infected plants.

Biological Control

Conserve bio agents like flower bugs (anthocorids), lady bird beetles (coccinellids), praying mantis, green lace wing (chrysopids), long horned grass hoppers, dragon flies and spiders.

Chemical Control

  • Spray Monochrotophos 36SL 600 ml/ha or Dimethoate 30 EC 650ml/ha or Methyldemeton 25 EC 600 ml in 600 lit of water.
  • Spray per acre monocrotophos 320ml mixed with neem oil 1lit and 1kg soap powder mixed in 200lit of water twice at 10days interval.


Leaf miner Aproaerema modicella

Leaf miner Aproaerema modicella

Leaf miner Aproaerema modicella

Nature of damage

Small blister like mines are seen on the upper leaf surface near mid rib. As the feeding advances, the mines increase in size and the entire leaflet becomes brown, rolls, shrivels and dries up. In severe cases the affected crop presents a burnt up appearance. Later stages larvae web the leaflets together and feed on them, remaining within the folds.

Physical Control

The adult moths are attracted to light from 6.30 to 10.30 P.M. Petromax lamp placed at ground level attracts moths.

Cultural Control

  • Crop rotation with non-leguminous crops would considerably reduce the leafminer population.
  • Rotation of groundnut with soyabean and other leguminous crops should be avoided.
  • The most promising method of control would be utilization of resistant/tolerant varieties.

Chemical Control

  • Monocrotophos 0.04 %, DDVP 0.05 %, Fenitrothion 0.05 %, Endosulfan 0.07 %, Carbaryl 0.2 %, Quinalphos 0.05 %.
  • Larva is parasitized by Bracon gelechidae  Ashm. &  Elasmus brevicornis Gah.


Gram pod borer: Helicoverpa armigera



Larvae feed on the foliage, prefers flowers and buds. When tender leaf buds are eaten symmetrical holes or cuttings can be seen upon unfolding of leaflets.

Cultural Control

  • Deep summer ploughing
  • Intercrop one row of red gram for every 5 or 6 rows

Mechanical Control

Install pheromone trap @ 5/ha

Biological Control

  • Use Trichogramma chilonis @ 1 lakh/ha or Chrysoperla carnea @ 50000/ha at 40 and 50 days after sowing of groundnut can effectively check the pest.
  • Apply H-NPV @ 250 LE/ha or B.t (Bacillus thuringiensis) 1 kg/ha or 5% NSKE Conserve the natural bio control population of spiders, long horned grasshoppers, praying mantis, robar fly, ants, green lace wing, damsel flies/dragon flies, flower bugs, shield bugs, lady bird beetles, ground beetle, predatory cricket, earwig, braconids, trichogrammatids, NPV, green muscular fungus.
  • Crop rotation with sorghum, maize, pearl millet and sugarcane minimizes the infestation.
  • Chemical control as per polyphagous pests


Tobacco caterpillar: Spodoptera litura
Tobacco caterpillar Spodoptera litura


Freshly hatched larvae feed gregariously, scraping the chlorophyll, soon disperse. Later stages feed voraciously on the foliage at night, hiding usually in the soil around the base of the plants during the day. Sometimes the feeding is so heavy that only petioles and branches are left behind. In light soil, caterpillar bores into the pods.


  • Set up pheromone traps at 2 traps/ha to monitor the adult (moth) populations.
  • Grow castor or sunflower along the border and irrigation channels as an indicator or trap crop.
  • Collect the gregarious early stages caterpillars in clusters (which manifest the lace-like leaves by their feeding) on castor or sunflower and destroy them.
  • Avoid migration of caterpillars by digging a trench 30 cm deep and 25 cm wide with perpendicular sides around the infested fields.
  • Apply nuclear polyhedrosis virus (NPV) at 250 LE (larval equivalents)/ha with sugar 2.5 kg/ha in the evening hours. Sugar acts as a sticker and as a stimulant.
  • Prepare bait with the following materials to cover one hectare.

– Rice bran 12.5 kg, molasses 2.5 kg and Carbaryl 50 WP 1.25 kg. Mix the ingredients to a homogeneous mixture, sprinkle water gradually and bring the bait to a dough consistency. Distribute the above bait on the soil, around the field and inside in the evening hours immediately after preparation.

  • In irrigated and high-input-use areas.  Apply any one of the following insecticides to control early stages of caterpillar:
    –   Carbaryl 10 D-25 kg/ha;
    –   Carbaryl 50 WP 2.0 kg/ha;
    –   Quinalphos 20 EC-750 ml/ha;
    –   Endosulfan 35 EC- 1.0 liter/ha;
    –   Dichlorvos 76 WSC – 750 ml/ha;
    –   Indoxacarb 14.5 SC- 250 ml/ha;
    –   Spinosad 45 SC – 125 ml/ha.


Ground nut White grub: Holotrichia consanguinea

It is a polyphagus pest. Adults are 18-20 mm long and 7-9 mm wide. The eggs are white, almost round. The young grubs are translucent, white and 5 mm long. Beetles emerge out of the soil within 3-4 days after the onset of rain.  Install light traps with the onset of rains and count the number of beetles per day. Dig 100 X 100 X 20 cm pit @ 10 pits per ha, collect and count the number of beetles per pt.


Both adults and larvae are damaging stage.The larvae feeds roots and damage pods. Grubs feed on fine rootlets, resulting in pale, wilted plants dying in patches.

Mechanical Control

Collection and destruction of white grub adults from host trees around the field. In areas where white grub is persistent problem, deep ploughing after harvesting the crop can reduce the population as birds can pickup the grubs, and destruction of pupae.

Biological Control

Conserve braconids, dragon flies, trichogrammatids, NPV, green muscardine fungus.

Chemical Control

  • Apply safe chemical insecticides at recommended doses only if the insect population crosses the ETL.
  • Control white grub adults by spraying their feeding trees like neem etc. with Carbaryl 50 WP at 2 g per liter of water. OR Chlorpyriphos 20 EC @ 2 ml/lit of water soon after first monsoon showers for 3-4 days in the late evening hours kills the adult beetles and reduces root grub infestation.
  • This spraying need to be repeated 3 to 4 times until mid-July, ideally using community approach.
  • Application of Carbofuran at 1 kg a.i./ha in the seed furrows can be effective prophylactic measure.
  • Seed treatment with chlorpyriphos 20 EC ( 6.5 to 12.5 ml/kg seed) is found effective.
  • In case of severe infestation apply phorate 10 G @ 10 kg/ha.






Termites are white translucent ant like insects. They enter the root system and burrow inside the root and stem; this usually kills the plant. They bore holes in the pods and damage the seed. They remove the soft corky tissue from between the veins of the pods (scarified). They do not usually damage the seed. But scarified pods are more susceptible to infestation by Aspergillus fungus, which produces health hazard aflatoxins.


  • Destroy termite nests by clean cultivation.
  • Seed treatment with Chlorpyriphos.
  • Drenching of termite nests with Chlorpyriphos solution.
  • Application of Carbofuran or Chlorpyriphos to the soil using 1 kg a.i. /ha at planting time can reduce termite incidence.


Ground Nut Bruchid




The adult is a brown beetle. Small translucent milky-white eggs can be seen attached to the pod wall. The larva burrows through the pod wall, and starts eating the seed. Fully grown larvae often leave the storage sack and pupate in large numbers at the bottom of the pile of sacks.

The first sign of attack is the appearance of ‘windows’ cut into the pod wall by the larva. The larva burrows through the pod wall, and eats the seeds. Thus, groundnut seeds are too badly damaged for human consumption or oil expulsion.


  • Drying the pods to less than 10% moisture before storing.
  • No live insect pests are present in the produce or in the storage areas.
  • Spraying the bags with pods with DDVP (Nuvan) at 2 ml/ liter of water or dusting with 5% Malathion.
  • Fumigation of pods with Aluminum phosphide (Celphos) at 3 g tablets per bag of groundnut (40 kg) and covering the sacks with polythene sheet for 5 days can effectively control bruchids without affecting the seed viability.
  • Fumigation should be done only in well aerated places outside the residential areas or in seed godowns only.


Pod Sucking Bug

Pod Sucking Bug

Pod Sucking Bug



This bug feeds on pods left in the field to dry, or on stored pods. In storage this bug feed on seeds, perforating the pod with their rostrum. This causes the seeds to shrivel and increases the free fatty acid content of the oil, producing a rancid flavor. Thus, the quality of groundnuts, and also the keeping quality of groundnuts are affected.


  • Maintenance of optimum moisture content (not >5%) is always critical in preventing the development of storage pests.
  • For protection against these pests groundnuts should be stored unshelled.
  • If groundnuts are stored as seed, care should be taken to avoid breakage. Broken seeds should not be stored for long periods.
  • Dusting with an inert substance such as clay dust can help to minimize storage insect problems. Fumigation of pods with Aluminum phosphide (Celphos) at 3 g tablets per bag of groundnut (40 kg) and covering the sacks with polythene sheet for 5 days can effectively control bruchids without affecting the seed viability.
  • Fumigation should be done only in well aerated places outside the residential areas or in seed godowns only, under the supervision of plant protection specialist.



Ground nut Harvesting

Harvesting usually consists of a series of operations comprising digging, lifting, windrowing, stocking and threshing. Some of these tasks can be combined or eliminated depending on the system applied. Among the field operations concerned with groundnut cultivation, harvesting is the most laborious and costly endeavor. Harvesting should be done when the crop reached physiological maturity i.e., when a few leaves turned brown and the inner ribs of the groundnut were a pronounced brown in color. All the pods are recovered when pulled out of the soil.

Harvesting may sometimes become a problem especially when the crop has passed the stage of full maturity and the soil has hardened. An appreciable number of pods could be lost if not meticulously carried out; which make the harvest labor intensive.


Groundnut is prone to the fungus Aspergillus flavus that produces aflatoxin, a group of toxins that occurs naturally and can be harmful to humans and animals in large amounts. High levels of aflatoxin in groundnut can hamper exports of groundnut from developing countries.

Inconsistencies is another constraint , a situation in which government policies as regards production, transportation and marketing of groundnut in Nigeria, which the government was actively involve before the disappearance of the groundnut pyramid of the North, has been identified as the major setback over the years for the crop which shows much prospect for development of the economy; as does in the past.


After cleaning and grading, the dried pod could be stored in bags and stacked up to 10 bags high in separated stacks to allow air circulation among them. The bags should be piled on wooden planks to avoid damage from dampness.

Economic potential

Nigeria is one of the countries of the world with a variety of oil seeds notably groundnut, oil palm, soybean and cotton seeds. Vegetable oils are used principally for food (mostly as shortening, margarines, and salad and cooking oils) and in the manufacture of soap and other products.

Groundnut is by far the most nutritive oil-seed used in West Africa. The kernels have an average fat and protein content of 75% and an energy value of 360 kcal/100g, compared to 60% and 430 kcal/100 g for soybeans.

In Nigeria, Groundnut provides high quality cooking oil and is an important source of protein for both human and animal diet and also provides much needed foreign exchange by exporting kernels and cake (Nautiyal, 1999)[8]. As population continues to grow the demand for edible oil in many developing countries such as Nigeria will also continue to grow. Groundnut will continue to be important in satisfying this growing demand because it is adaptable to a wide range of environments from sandy soils of the Sahel to favorable irrigated areas.

General information


Nigeria is the fourth largest producer in the world and the highest producer in Africa with 1.55 million metric tons.

Peanuts grow best in light, sandy loam soil. They require five months of warm weather, and an annual rainfall of 500 to 1,000 mm (20 to 39 in) 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.

They need an acidic soil to grow preferably with 5.9-7 PH.

In tropical Africa, average yield of groundnut range from 300-1000kg/ha; with god management practice and proper disease control yields up to 5tones/ha can be achieved.

Groundnut oil

Over half of the groundnut harvested worldwide is crushed for oil and a substantial quantity of groundnut produced in developing countries is traded in domestic markets. International trade of groundnuts is mainly in the form of in shell (pods), shelled (kernels) and meal (cake). A large trade of confectionery groundnut is also booming in the international market.

Groundnut oil has traditionally been a significant dietary component in several countries in Western Africa. In some countries like Nigeria, Gambia and Senegal, oil extraction has been important rural cottage industry for many years. Industrial processing of oil from groundnuts exists in many countries like, India, Sudan, Senegal, Nigeria and Gambia. Oil extraction at the village level is still quite common throughout the developing countries





All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, correntness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.




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