Groundnut or Peanut (Arachis hypogaea) is a species in the legume or “bean” family. The crop is believed to be of South American origin. China, India, Nigeria, USA, Indonesia, Argentina, Sudan, Senegal and Myanmar are the major groundnut-producing nations in the world.
In India, groundnut first reached the east coast of the then Madras province and was first cultivated in Mysore state in 1800 AD. India is the second largest producer of groundnuts in the world
Groundnut is known by many other names such as earthnuts, ground nuts, goober peas, monkey nuts, pygmy nuts and peanuts. Despite its name and appearance, the peanut is not a nut, but rather a legume.
Groundnut is a significant oilseed crop and is considered ideal for cultivation in tropic regions of India. It plays a major role in bridging the vegetable oil deficit in the country. Groundnuts in India are available throughout the year due to a two-crop cycle harvested in March and October. Ground Nuts are important protein crops in India grown mostly under rain-fed conditions
Indian groundnuts are available in different varieties such as Bold or Runner, Java or Spanish and Red Natal. The main Groundnut varieties produced in India are Kadiri-2, Kadiri-3, BG-1, BG-2, Kuber, GAUG-1, GAUG-10, PG-1, T-28, T-64, Chandra, Chitra, Kaushal, Parkash, Amber etc.
They have a rich nutty flavour, sweet taste, crunchy texture and over and above a relatively longer shelf life. Soil conditions in some producing regions are ideally suited for dry, clean and spotless Groundnuts in Shell.
Apart from raw edible peanuts, India supplies Processed Peanuts such as Blanched Peanuts, Roasted Salted Peanuts and Dry Roasted Peanuts and a variety of peanut-based products.
According to the Government’s Second Advance Estimates of production of major crops for the year 2021-22, Groundnut production in India is pegged at 9.86 million tonnes amidst the estimated record total oilseeds production of 37.15 million tonnes during the year.
Groundnut – All India Area and Production
Major Groundnut Growing States
Gujarat is the largest producer of groundnuts in the country, which is followed by Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Rajasthan. Gujarat alone accounts for 40% of total groundnut produced in the country.
Ideal Soil and Climate
Groundnut is raised in a sandy loam as well as well drained sandy clay loam soil. Deep well-drained soil with pH of 6.5 -7 as well as having great fertility are perfect for groundnut cultivation. An excellent climatic condition for better germination of groundnut is 31° C. Heavy and stiff clays are unsuitable for groundnut cultivation.
The crop is grown in both Kharif and Rabi seasons. The Kharif season has a share of more than 75% of the total production. The rainfed Kharif crop is sown with the advent of monsoon from May to July. Rabi groundnut is sown in the southern states during November-December. Summer groundnut is sown in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh during January-February.
India exported 638,582.97 MT of groundnuts to the world for the worth of Rs. 5,381.61 Crores/ 727.40 USD Millions during the year 2020-21. groundnuts are exported to mostly countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, China, Russia, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates and Nepal.
Groundnut Exports from India
Source: Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Govt. of India
- Handbook of Agriculture, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, August 2021