Extra income is peanuts
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CTA. 2002. Extra income is peanuts. Spore 98. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/46501
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore98.pdf
Dried, roasted or processed into peanut butter, peanuts mean money for millions of households. World peanut production is around 30 million tonnes, with China, USA, Argentina and India as major export producers. In Africa, the largest producers are...
Dried, roasted or processed into peanut butter, peanuts mean money for millions of households. World peanut production is around 30 million tonnes, with China, USA, Argentina and India as major export producers. In Africa, the largest producers are Nigeria (2,800,000 t), Sudan (980,000 t) and Senegal (828,000 t). Peanuts are in fact grown in most ACP countries. Research on improved peanut varieties has for a long time been dormant, but the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), seems to be quickly making up for this (see also Spore 91). For the past decade, research on groundnuts has focused on varieties that are suited for local conditions, such as drought, poor soils and a range of pests and diseases. In Africa, leaf spot, aflatoxine contamination, groundnut rosette and foliar disease often lead to considerable harvest losses. In West Africa, ICRISAT has been releasing numerous disease-resistant varieties for testing among farmers. In Samanko, almost literally the back garden of the ICRISAT centre in Mali, a women s group has been successfully testing some of these varieties. In ideal conditions, a peanut harvest can amount to three tonnes per hectare but traditional varieties in Mali do not yield more than 500 kg/ha. In the tests, some new varieties are yielding more than 1 tonne/ha and are maturing in only 90 days instead of 115 days traditionally. The women determine which varieties pass the test and will be distributed to other regions. They have rejected certain lines of varieties with promising high yields, for one that has more attractive seeds or is more suitable for their goats. It is, ICRISAT tell us, the women who are the major players. That, they say, is what participation is all about. We look forward to the women s side of the story! [caption to illustration] Higher yields will mean heavier work ICRISAT Samanko BP 320, Bamako, Mali Fax: +223 22 86 83