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How To Start Peanut Farming (Groundnut) Business in 12 Steps

Peanut or groundnut is one of the most important oilseed crops globally. Here in this post, we put a detailed peanut farming business plan sample checklist for your reference.

Peanut cultivation is easy. Additionally, the crop ensures satisfactory revenue to the growers. However, you must have a moderate size of land for groundnut cultivation. Commercial groundnut farming is a profitable business. Groundnut seed contains about 45% oil and 26% protein. Groundnut kernel as a whole is highly digestible. The scientific name of the peanut is Arachis hypogaea. And it belongs to the Legumes family.

More than 100 countries grow groundnut. The major groundnut producers are China, India, Nigeria, the USA, Senegal, Myanmar, Indonesia, and Sudan (undivided). Developing countries account for over 97% of the world’s groundnut area and 95% of total production.

What are Peanuts/ Groundnuts

Groundnut oil is edible oil. It finds extensive use as a cooking medium both as refined oil and Vanaspati Ghee. Additionally, soap manufacturers, cosmetics, and lubricants industries are the major consumers of this oil. People also eat kernels as raw, roasted, or sweetened. They are rich in protein and vitamins A, and B, and some members of the B2 group. Their calorific value is 349 per 100 grams. Generally, the H.P.S. type of groundnut kernels has great export potential. The residual oilcake contains 7 to 8% of N, 1.5% of P 2O5, and 1.2% of K2O and is used as a fertilizer.

In addition, it is an important protein supplement in cattle and poultry rations. It is also popular as a confectionary product. Additionally, you can use the cake to manufacture artificial fiber. The haulms (plant stalks) are fed ( green, dried, or silaged) to livestock. Groundnut shell is used as fuel for manufacturing coarse boards, cork substitutes, etc. Groundnut is also a great rotation crop. Due to the legume with root nodules, it can synthesize atmospheric nitrogen and therefore improve soil fertility.

12 Steps to Follow to Farm Peanuts or Groundnuts

1. Market Research

Begin by conducting thorough market research to understand the demand for peanuts in your target market. Identify potential buyers such as wholesalers, retailers, and food processing companies. Determine the prevailing market prices for peanuts and assess the competition in your area.

2. Selecting a Suitable Location

Choose a location with suitable soil and climate conditions for peanut cultivation. Peanuts thrive in well-drained sandy loam soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0. Ensure the availability of sufficient sunlight and access to water for irrigation.

3. Acquiring Land and Permits

Acquire or lease agricultural land for peanut cultivation. Obtain necessary permits and licenses required for farming operations, including water rights, land use permits, and environmental clearances.

4. Variety Selection

Select appropriate peanut varieties based on factors such as yield potential, disease resistance, and market demand. Common peanut varieties include Virginia, Spanish, and Valencia. Consult with local agricultural extension services or experienced farmers for guidance on suitable varieties for your region.

5. Soil Preparation

Prepare the soil by plowing, harrowing, and leveling the land to create a smooth seedbed. Conduct soil testing to assess nutrient levels and pH balance. Make any necessary amendments to the soil based on the test results to ensure optimal growing conditions for peanuts.

Although groundnut is a deep-rooted crop looking at its underground pod-forming habit, you must avoid deep plowing. Because deep plowing encourages the development of pods in deeper layers of soil. And it makes harvesting difficult. One plowing with soil turning plow followed by two harrowings is sufficient to achieve a good surface tilt up to 12-18 cm depth. One or two summer cultivations will minimize weeds, insects, and pests to a great extent in problem areas.

Read: How To Take Soil Samples For Analysis

6. Planting

Plant peanut seeds in rows or hills according to the recommended spacing for the chosen variety. Planting typically occurs in the spring or early summer when the soil temperature reaches around 65-70°F (18-21°C). Ensure adequate moisture during planting to support germination and early growth. Treat the selected kernels with 5 g of Thiram Captan or Ceresan per kg of kernels to check various seed and soil-borne diseases.

7. Manuring

Just like the other legumes, groundnut meets the major part of the nitrogen requirement through nitrogen fixation. However, you can apply 20-40 kg of nitrogen per hectare as a starter dose to meet the nitrogen requirement of the crop in the initial stage in poor fertility soils. In addition, a farmyard is also the best option for peanuts.

8. Crop Management

Implement proper crop management practices throughout the growing season. This includes regular irrigation to maintain soil moisture, weed control through mechanical cultivation or herbicides, and pest management to prevent damage from insects and diseases.

Generally, groundnut does not require irrigation. However, if a dry spell occurs, irrigation is necessary. Therefore, you must provide one irrigation at the pod development stage. However, you must have a well-drained field.

Give the first irrigation at the start of flowering and the subsequent irrigations whenever required during the fruiting period to encourage peg penetration and pod development. The last irrigation before harvesting facilitates the full recovery of pods from the soil.

9. Plant Protection

You must protect your farm from different types of pest and disease attacks. Seed treatment plays an important role in prevention. Some of the potential diseases are Tikka, Sclerotium Rot, Rosette, Charcoal Rot, etc.

10. Harvesting

Monitor the progress of the peanut plants as they mature. Peanuts are ready for harvest when the plants begin to yellow and the pods reach full size. Use mechanical harvesters or hand-pick the pods depending on the scale of your operation. Allow harvested peanuts to dry in the field before threshing.

Generally, the nut takes two months to attain full development. In the case of a bunch type of groundnut, you can harvest the plants by pulling. In peanut farming, you can expect about 15-20 quintals of pods per hectare from bunch-type varieties and 20-30 quintals per hectare from spreading varieties.

11. Processing and Storage

Clean and grade the harvested peanuts to remove debris and separate them based on size and quality. Store the peanuts in well-ventilated, dry conditions to prevent spoilage. Properly cured peanuts can be stored for an extended period.

12. Marketing and Sales

Develop a marketing strategy to sell your peanuts to potential buyers. This may include selling directly to consumers at farmers’ markets, supplying to local grocery stores, or negotiating contracts with food processing companies. Establish relationships with buyers and focus on delivering high-quality peanuts to maintain customer satisfaction.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the health benefits of peanuts?

Some of the health benefits of peanuts are listed below:

  • First of all, peanuts contain health-benefiting nutrients, minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.
  • Additionally, peanut kernels are a good source of dietary protein and are composed fine quality amino acids that are essential for growth and development.
  • Peanuts are an excellent source of resveratrol, another polyphenolic antioxidant.
  • The kernels are an excellent source of vitamin E (a-tocopherol); containing about 8 g per 100 gm.
  • Finally, nuts are a rich source of minerals like copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.

What are the major things to consider in commercial groundnt farming?

  • In commercial farming, you must have a comprehensive business plan with you. According to the area of land, you will need to calculate the input cost, production output, and revenue earnings.
  • Additionally, you must have a marketing plan with you. Before planting, plan about the proper selling avenues of the crops.
  • You must have well-drained soil for cultivation.
  • Additionally, you must use suitable rotation crops.
  • In addition, you must have a proper irrigation facility.
  • Finally, proper time management of the crop is crucial.

What are the best varieties for peanut farming?

Variety selection is one of the most important decisions in peanut production. Newer varieties have resistance to multiple diseases. Many factors affect the selection of what varieties to plant including field history, irrigation, planting and harvest capabilities, seed availability and quality, and marketing. Here we put a list of some major varieties. The list includes Florida-07, FloRunTM ‘107’, Georgia-02C, Georgia-06G, Georgia-07W, Georgia-09B, Georgia-10T, Georgia-12Y etc.

India is the second-largest producer of groundnuts in the world. Indian groundnuts are available in different varieties: 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.

What are the ideal agroclimatic conditions for peanut farming?

Groundnut is essentially a tropical plant. It requires a long and warm growing season. The most favorable climate conditions for groundnut are the well-distributed rainfall of at least 50 cm during the growing season, an abundance of sunshine, and relatively warm temperatures.

It is observed that plants will grow best when the mean temperature is from 21-26.5°C. Lower temperatures are not suitable for its proper development. During the ripening period, it requires about a month of warm and dry weather.

What is the most suitable soil for peanut farming?

Groundnut thrives best in well-drained sandy and sandy loam soils, as light soil helps in easy penetration of pegs and their development and also harvesting. Clay or heavy soils are not suitable for this crop, as they interfere with the penetration of pegs and make harvesting quite difficult. Additionally, groundnut gives good yields in the soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.5.

How long does it take for peanuts to mature?

Peanuts typically take about 120 to 150 days to reach maturity from the time of planting, depending on the variety and growing conditions.

What are the common pests and diseases affecting peanut crops?

Common pests include aphids, thrips, and nematodes, while diseases like leaf spot, stem rot, and aflatoxin contamination can affect peanut crops. Integrated pest management practices and disease-resistant varieties can help mitigate these issues.

How often should peanuts be irrigated?

Peanuts require consistent moisture, especially during the flowering and pod development stages. Depending on the soil type and weather conditions, irrigation may be needed every 7 to 10 days.

Can peanuts be grown organically?

Yes, peanuts can be grown organically by using natural fertilizers, crop rotation, and pest control methods such as beneficial insects and trap crops. Organic certification may be obtained through accredited certification agencies.

What is the best time for planting peanuts?

Peanuts are typically planted in the spring or early summer when the soil temperature reaches around 65-70°F (18-21°C). Planting too early in cold soil can result in poor germination and growth.

How are peanuts harvested?

Peanuts are harvested using mechanical equipment such as peanut combines or by hand-picking the pods. After harvesting, the plants are allowed to dry in the field before threshing to separate the peanuts from the vines.

What are the storage requirements for harvested peanuts?

Harvested peanuts should be properly cured and stored in well-ventilated, dry conditions to prevent mold and spoilage. Ideally, peanuts should be stored at temperatures below 50°F (10°C) and humidity levels below 70%.

Are there any government subsidies or support for peanut farmers?

Depending on the region and government policies, there may be subsidies, loans, or support programs available for peanut farmers, including assistance with irrigation, crop insurance, and marketing.

What are the potential markets for selling peanuts?

Peanuts can be sold to various markets, including wholesalers, retailers, food processing companies, and direct consumers through farmers’ markets, roadside stands, or online platforms.