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DRY-SEASON GROUNDNUT VARIETIES

Photo credit: ICRISAT

Participants during the farmers’ field visit appreciating groundnut variety Samnut24. Photo: A Diama, ICRISAT

NIGERIAN FARMERS BEAT HIGH TEMPERATURES WITH DRY-SEASON GROUNDNUT VARIETIES

Farmers in northern Nigeria are switching over to groundnut production in the hottest months of the year. From an initial six farmers cultivating the improved groundnut variety in the 2012 dry season, today there are over 5000 farmers in northern Nigeria involved in groundnut production.

Unlike vegetables and fruits grown in the dry season, the groundnut produced during this period coincides with a peak in demand for groundnut seeds, so seed growers can tap a ready market. In addition, the groundnut crop residues provide a good source of income to farmers at a time when the price of fodder is highest. Also, the groundnut is not affected by market glut as is the case with fruits and vegetables during this period.

“I am a farmer and public servant for about 35 years now. Since this dry season groundnut was introduced 3 years ago, I got about 200 bags of groundnut last year, in addition to the fodder which I use for feeding my animals,” says Mr Abdulahi Abubakar, a farmer and a legislator. “Unlike the varieties that we used to grow during the rainy season, this groundnut is not damaged by pests.”

“There is much higher yield in dry season production. If you can get a ton in the dry season, you’ll only get half ton per ha in the rainy season. You can also cultivate this groundnut with less irrigation compared to tomato and maize. From 42 ha I want to go for 100 ha and get into mechanization. It is my wish that in the coming dry season, you will visit my mechanized farm.”

“I encourage the youth in my area to take up groundnut production. I will support them financially as they start this business,” said Mr Abubakar during a field visit organized on his farm recently. “I also want to tell them to use improved seeds and appropriate planting methods and to follow the advice given by extension officers,” he said.  Mr Abubakar’s farm is located in the local government area of Ningi, Bauchi State, Nigeria.

Read the full article: ICRISAT

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.