Groundnuts originated in South America. The Portuguese took them to West Africa in the 16th century. Groundnuts are now grown in most tropical, subtropical and temperate countries between 40°N and 40°S latitude in Africa.Groundnuts are a small erect or trailing herbaceous legume, about 15 to 60 cm high. The fruit is a pod with one to five seeds that develops underground within a needle-like structure called a peg. The seeds are rich in oil (38-50%), protein, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamins. Groundnuts have also considerable medicinal value. They are reported to be useful in the treatment of disease such as haemophilia, stomatitis, and diarrhoea.


Varieties ManipinterUganda Red


Seed Rate 40-50kg/ha
Fertilizer Rate 50kg Phosphate per ha
Planting Spacing 40 x 20 cm to 30 x 20 cm with Plant population 200,000 to 250,000 plants/ha
Husbandry After ploughing and harrowing to a fairly good tilth, ridges, which are 80 cm apart with flattish tops, should be made so that two rows of nuts can be planted on each ridge. Groundnuts are grown as a sole crop and also intercropped with maize, soybean, cassava, upland rice, sorghum, okra, sugarcane, and sunflower. Weeding should be done early while at the same time earthing up the ridges to encourage “pegging” i.e. young nuts penetration through the soil. They requirement calcium (Ca) in the podding zone.
Pest & Diseases Pest Name Symptoms Control
Groundnut rosette virus disease thrips Stunted curled leavesInsect on flowers stunning of crop Close spacing Rguing certified seed spray with insecticides e.g. Thiodan
Expected Duration from Planting to Harvesting 3-4.5 months
Climatic Conditions Groundnuts are grown in the warm tropics and subtropics below 1500 m above sea level. Optimum mean daily temperature to grow is 30°C. Groundnuts cannot stand frost. It require 500 and 600 mm of water well distributed through the growing season. Crumbly, well-drained soils are preferred. Soil pH should be in the range 5.5 to 6.5.
Harvesting The nuts should be brown on the outside, firm and dry and rattle inside when shaken. Plants should be carefully dug out to avoid nuts breaking off. Dry for 2-3 days, then rip the pods from the bushes and place them on mats to dry for another 7-10 days to about 10% moisture. Shelling should be done by hand.
Post Harvest and Storage Poorly dried and stored nuts pick mold and dirt, which attracts a fungi, that releases aflotoxin chemicals that are dangerous to human health. Don not shell Nuts to be used as seed.
Growing Regions Coast region, Western Kenya
Expected yields 2000kg/ha


Processing Groundnuts is crushed for oil that is used mainly for cooking. The press cake from oil extraction is a feed rich in protein but is also used to produce groundnut flour, which is used in many human foods.


Place Western, Eastern and Coastal
Price Kshs 7500 – 13000 per 100kg bag


Products / By Products Cooking Oil, GroundNut Packs, Groundnut Flour, Forage (from vegetable), Seed/Kernel used in snacks and confectionery.
Nutritional value – per 100 g / % Daily Values Energy 567 / 28%; Carbohydrates 16.1 / 5%; Fat 49.2 / 76%; Protein 25.8 / 52%; Calcium 92.0 / 9%; Phosphorus 376 / 38%; Iron 4.6 / 25%; Pottasium  705 / 20%. They are also medicinal in value.


Africa is the secondary centre of diversity for groundnuts.


Income Per Hectare: Kshs 150,000 (2,000kgs * 75/-).Cost per Hectare: Kshs. 30,000 (20% of Income).

NET:    Kshs. 120,000 (80% of Income).

Break Even Yield (Where Cost=Income): = 4 bags per hectare.

Income Frequency: Once per year for rainfed. Twice for Irrigation.

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