Here in this post, we are going to bring you information on how profitable is groundnut farming is in Nigeria. This information is vital to farmers who want to grow this cash crop.
Groundnut is a portion of food which are rich in vitamins, folate, magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, etc. It has a lot of benefits to man. Arachis hypogaea is the botanical name for groundnut. The benefits of groundnut include;
1) Keeps the heart healthy as a result of the availability of monosaturated and poly saturated fats.
2) Groundnut is a very high source of protein which helps in bodybuilding.
3) It contains Vitamins and minerals which helps the body system to function 100%.
4) The skins of the groundnut have a high level of phenolic compounds which are rich in antioxidants that help to reduce the risk of cancer.
The northern part of Nigeria has the highest number of groundnut farms in the country. The westerners also grow in large numbers compared to the south and east.
The major usefulness of groundnut in Nigeria is mainly to acquire the oil from it. The oil extracted from groundnut is used for so many things like cooking, bio-diesel fuel, explosives, insecticides, glue, etc. The nut can also be used as a snack.
Read Also: 6 Steps To Produce Groundnut Oil In Nigeria
What is groundnut farming?
Groundnut farming is one of the best business opportunities which individuals can indulge in the country. The business is very profitable because it is not only used as a food crop, it is also a product with many uses.
Groundnut farming can be categorized under these:
1) Large Scale for exports: Large scale groundnut farming is very profitable. The current largest producer of groundnut oil in Africa is Nigeria.
2) Small Scale for local consumption: This is very profitable too especially the nuts. A lot of people buy it for consumption daily.
3) As a product for other by-products
Some individuals prefer to cultivate groundnut for the production of other products which can boost their business. Some groundnut grows groundnut to sell while some grow for other uses. These thereby give the farmers more profit compared to selling the groundnut as it is.
Steps to becoming a groundnut farmer
Groundnut does select the kind of soil it can grow on. A loamy soil or a good drain sandy soil is highly recommended. The acidity level of the soil has to be high for the groundnut to survive. The weather should be warm with very low annual rainfall. It is highly necessary for the weeds and crop residues to be well removed and discarded before planting commence.
This should take place when the soil is moist. This can be attended during the rainy season. The farmer can choose either to plant on a flat surface or a ridge. Appropriate spacing should be done.
Also, rotation of groundnut with other crops can be done to reduce soil-borne disease and also for nutrient utilization. Fertilizers or manures can be applied before and after planting for improved crop development.
During post planting, the groundnut rosette disease should be avoided. That disease is the most devastating disease that can affect the groundnut. It could destroy the whole groundnut in the farm if not well contained.
Groundnut is subjected to pests. Although new varieties of groundnut were developed which are capable to resist the rosette disease thereby yielding a higher number of crop qualities.
Series of processes are involved in the harvesting of groundnut. These include Digging, lifting, stocking and threshing. Groundnut harvesting is a hard and expensive job. Digging of the soil is carried out to enable the pods to be pulled out.
It takes the 4 to 5 months for the pod to ripen after planting and harvesting is done especially when the leaves of the groundnut turn into brown colours. The planted is ready for harvesting when the inner rib of the plant turns to brown colour.
An irrigation system like the sprinkler irrigation can be used to ease the harvesting process. It will be of an advantage for a farmer with such a system. The sprinkler irrigation should be applied for one hour, which then the light surface irrigation will be done for some couple of days. The roots of the plant should be cut about 12 to 15cm below the soil surface with the use of a blade or it can be manually pulled out.
Where irrigation is not available, tractor driven digger can be used to loosen the soil to enable the plant to be pulled out.
Harvesting at the right time is a necessity. The reason for this is that if a plant exceeds full maturity, the pods fall off the stalk and remains inside the soil. The groundnut yield is always reduced in hardened soil because it makes it very tedious for the plant to be harvested. If the pod is being harvested in an early stage, they will all be harvested unripe. Also, the harvested plants must be sun-dried for some days before they can be snapped off the pods.
Read Also: How To Start Yam Farming In Nigeria
When the pods are dried, they are well cleaned and well stored in bags. These bags can be stacked on top of one another. It is better advised to pile the bags on wooden planks to avoid unnecessary damages which can be caused by dampness.
The oil can be extracted after harvest by either using a small manual oil pressing machine or a big groundnut oil expeller depending on the farmer’s capacity. In most cases, the residue of the oil after pressing can be used as animal feeds. This means that the farmer can also use the residue for his animal’s farm or sell them out to other livestock farmers for money.
After harvesting has been done, groundnut can be planted again. This means that groundnut can be harvest up to two times in a year. For example, the seeds can be planted in August or September to be harvested in December.
Groundnut business is very lucrative with great benefits for whatever way it can be accessed. It is guaranteed when it comes to yield as that is optimal.
A very large harvested groundnut and products from groundnut are consumed in Nigeria, making the selling of groundnut and its products very easily thereby making optimal business productivity very easy to attend.
So all a groundnut farmer needs to do is to make sure his groundnut farm is well taken care of from planting to harvesting through seeking professional help or reading of manuals.
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