Chapter 13 B
Agrometeorology and groundnut production
This section was written in draft by P. Vijaya Kumar
The section was reviewed by P.V. Vara Prasad
and the revision by Kees Stigter
Afterwards the author was not able to complete the section
and it was then finalized by Kees Stigter
The chapter 13 as a whole is coordinated by Kees Stigter
with the assistance of Orivaldo Brunini
I. Importance of the crop in various climates
Groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) is an annual legume which is also known as peanut, earthnut, monkeynut and goobers. It is the 13th most important food crop and 4th most important oilseed crop of the world. Groundnut seeds (kernels) contain 40-50% fat, 20-50 % protein and 10-20 % carbohydrate. Groundnut seeds are a nutritional source of vitamin E, niacin, falacin, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, iron, riboflavin, thiamine and potassium. Groundnut kernels are consumed directly as raw, roasted or boiled kernels or oil extracted from the kernel is used as culinary oil). It is also used as animal feed (oil pressings, seeds, green material and straw) and industrial raw material (oil cakes and fertilizer). These multiple uses of groundnut plant makes it an excellent cash crop for domestic markets as well as for foreign trade in several developing and developed countries. Cultivated groundnut originates from South America (Wiess 2000). It is one of the most popular and universal crops cultivated in more than 100 countries in six continents (Nwokoto 1996). It is grown in 25.2 million hectares with a total production of 35.9 million metric tons (FAO, 2006). Major groundnut growing countries are India (26%), China (19%) and Nigeria (11%). Its cultivation is mostly confined to the tropical countries ranging from 40º N to 40º S. Major groundnut producing countries are: China (40.1%), India (16.4%), Nigeria (8.2%), U.S.A (5.9%) and Indonesia (4.1%).
I.2 Production environments in major producing countries
Groundnut has a long history of cultivation in China and early accounts record its cultivation since the late 13th century (Shuren et al 1995). Groundnut is now one of the main cash and oil crops in China. Area under groundnut in China accounts for about 25 % of all oil seed crops. In high-income provinces, groundnut is grown for oil production and export. In other provinces it is grown primarily for food, especially as a snack (Yao 2004). Groundnut is becoming more attractive to the farmers due to higher net profit per unit area compared to other crops in several parts of China.
The main groundnut producing areas in China are Shandong, Henan, Guangdong, Hebei, and Guangxi, which account for more than 60% of cultivated area and total production. Shandong is the leading province (Shuren et al 1995). It accounts for 23% of the area and 33% of total production in the country (Shufen et al 1998). Groundnut is grown in rotation with various crops in diverse cropping systems in different regions. In Shandong province, groundnut is grown in summer 3
season following winter wheat. It is also rotated with sweet potato, corn, tobacco, and vegetables in other regions.
As to production constraints, about 70 % of the total groundnut cultivation areas are hilly-mountainous, infertile, dryland, low lying area, which have low capacity to withstand drought or water logging. Poor farming practices such as lack of quality seeds, continuous mono-cropping are considered as constraints for groundnut production in China
Among oilseeds crops in India, groundnut accounts for about 50% of area and 45 % of oil production. In India, about 75% of the groundnut area lies in a low to moderate rainfall zone (parts of peninsular region and western and central regions) with a short period of distribution (90-120 days). Based on rainfall pattern, soil factors, diseases and pest situations, groundnut-growing area in India has been divided into five zones. In India, most of the...