Nigeria is the largest producer of groundnut in sub-Saharan Africa and 3rd in the world. Groundnut contributes to the attainment of nutrition security, maintenance of soil quality, and generation of cash for farming households.
Groundnut as a legume can reduce malnutrition and improve human health, especially for the poor who cannot afford livestock products. For instance, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard, groundnut contain 40-50% fat, 20-50% protein, and 10-20% carbohydrates.
They are packed with many important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, Vitamin B-6, and foliates. They are also a rich source of minerals like copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. Groundnut are also rich in energy, providing 567 calories per 100g. It’s high energy value, protein content and minerals make groundnut a rich source of nutrition at a low price.
In addition to nutritional values, it also has environmental and economic advantages for the farmers. Groundnut improves soil fertility by fixing nitrogen and thereby increasing the productivity of other crops when used in rotation or in intercropping. The growing demand in both the domestic and export markets could also provide a source of cash for smallholder producers.
Despite this fact, the productivity of groundnut cultivation in the country is attributed to a combination of factors such as groundnut rosette epidemics and foliar diseases, aflatoxin contamination and lack of sufficient and consistent supply of improved seed varieties, poor adoption of agronomic practices and limited extension services. This has significantly affected productivity and thus production and subsequently led to losing its share in the domestic, regional and international markets.
To regain our position as largest exporter of groundnut, we are taking steps to tackle some of the challenges that cause the setback, The output yield will have to increase substantially, using yield enhancing technologies. Thanks to the International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and Institutes for Agricultural Research (IAR) that have developed or introduced a range of groundnut varieties with various attributes, including different maturity rates, resistance to groundnut rosette disease, foliar diseases and other agronomic traits.
The efforts by NGROPPMAN and other research institutions have been appropriately supported by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for including groundnut in the range of traditional locally produced food and cash crops in the ongoing Anchor Borrower Programme (ABP) initiated by the Central Bank of Nigeria. NGROPPMAN has accomplished vital procedure to access CBN/ABP facility for groundnut production in 2020 through which inputs procurement and distribution to 46,025 enrolled farmers are expected to commence.
The programme will also impact on the well-being of groundnut value chain actors with estimated 78,000 direct and indirect beneficiaries under the programme. The groundnut season is on, the rains are fully established in the groundnut cultivation areas across the country and planting is in progress, including by non-participating groundnut farmers.
Our groundnut planting is on track without panic since optimum planting time for improved groundnut seed varieties is from mid-June to mid-July as recommended by our technical partners.
NGROPPMAN is the focal point producer of groundnut in the legumes ABP commodities category and therefore prays that CBN and partner commercial banks will accelerate disbursement within present planting time frame in order to accommodate the teaming enrolled farmers in participating states about 10 to 14 across the federation.
NGROPPMAN is determined through adopted innovative approaches to ensure a highly successful groundnut ABP implementation to achieve the CBN’s specific goals and objectives of the programme. NGROPPMAN also sees the groundnut ABP 2020 as a rapid, sustainable economic recovery approach in the COVID-19 post-pandemic period because as local production of raw material, groundnut steps up through the ABP, it will help in boosting local manufacturing of cooking oil to further improve food sufficiency since importing cooking oil will now be more difficult amid the COVID-19 situation. Finally, we pray to Almighty Allah for bountiful output in the current season. Ameen.
Abdulrazaq Usman Mohammed, Ag. National President, National Groundnut Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NGROPPMAN)