Groundnuts are legumes with edible seeds enclosed in a pod. Unlike true nut such as acorn or hazel they are in the family of beans or peas. Parts of the nut are the outer covering shell, edible seeds-cotyledon.
Others are the seed coat, radicle, plumule an embryonic shoot. They grow best in tropical or subtropical regions and require proper planning, good soil, adequate water and sunlight.
Uses of Groundnut
Ground nut is fried, boiled processed, cooked or oil extracted. They are ingredients in many food items, dishes or eaten as a snack. Uses include making into groundnut oil, confectionery dishes, soups, pharmaceutical products.
- oil extracted
- eaten as snack
- making into groundnut oil
- confectionery dishes
- pharmaceutical products
Things to Consider
Things to consider are pre-production, production and post production requirements. The primary consideration is soil type, environmental temperature. Production involves planting, fertilization, pest control, plant diseases
Considerations in ground cultivation
- post production
- soil type
- environmental temperature
- pest control
- plant diseases
Common diseases that affect groundnut cultivation are rust, charcoal rot and fungal infection. Fungus is the major cause of three types of disease.
They cause spots on leaves while charcoal rot is manifested by leaf wilting or yellow leaves. Proper farm management, irrigation and crop rotation effectively reduces the prevalence of fungi.
- charcoal rot
- fungal infection
Signs of infection
- spots on leaves
- yellow leaves
- leaf wilting
- crop management
- crop rotation
Apart from fungi the groundnut is susceptible to different pest. Pest damage is the number one cause of crop depletion and waste. Most ground inhabiting pest that damage the crops are mites, caterpillars and nematodes.
Gall appears on the roots is an indication of the presence of nematodes. Spider mites infestation causes yellow leaves while caterpillar feed on the plant. Control methods include introduction of adequate water, insecticides, planting resistant plant.
Signs of pests
- Gall on roots
- Yellow leaves
Fertilization, soil type and temperature
Groundnut requires good nutrient utilization to grow. Weeding and crop rotation is an important aspect of the enterprise. Groundnut grows best in the tropics or sub-tropical regions.
They grow in loamy or moderately sandy soil. Avoid waterlogged areas and plant in well-drained soil with Ph. level 6.5 – 7.0. Introduce fertilizer 31 days before planting the crop.
Use organic fertilization and manure with 20 kg P ha–1 of phosphorous. This effectively increase kernel yields. Water stagnation, draught and cold cause seedling disease, seed rot, mite infestation.
How to Make Groundnut Oil at Home
We digress a little from writing about livestock or vegetable farming. In this article we would focus on how to make groundnut oil at home. The process is simple easy to execute and rewarding.
Groundnut oil is used in many culinary applications it is very popular moderately priced. Many people are not aware that making the oil is relatively simple and requires basic equipment. Here is how to make groundnut oil.
Why make the oil
Producing the oil at home guarantee the purity. It is cost effective, easy to do and requires basic equipment.
- guarantee purity
- cost effective
- easy to do
- requires basic equipment
How to make groundnut oil at home
- Buy the groundnut
- Separation by sieving
The first step is to purchase the groundnut from a local dealer. Places to find good grade groundnuts are supermarkets, mall, and grocery stores. To make two cups of oil you need six full cups of peanuts.
De-shelling is a bit labor intensive and requires some patience. However if you want to produce only three cups of oil it will take about 20 minutes. Another option is to purchase already de-shelled groundnuts.
This ones are slightly more expensive than the shelled ones. The process of de-shelling involves breaking the groundnuts from the shell and cleaning them. To achieve husk removal you have a choice to fry for 5 minutes or soak in cold water.
Step three involves soaking the groundnuts to soften them. Place then in a clean bowl the soak with warm water for 15 minutes.
This is the most important aspect to extract the oil. First drain the water then blend them until you achieve a butter-like consistency. Some people add a small bit of water to aid the blending process. However the objective to get a paste from the mixture
Place the paste in an airtight container then into the refrigerator, leave it in the refrigerator for 24 hours so the oil separates and rises to the top.
Strain the separated oil using a sieve and strain till completely dry.
Continue to strain until you get a clean consistency. Then transfer the oil to another container and refrigerate. The final product is high quality groundnut oil.