Latest Research Finding About Groundnut Cultivation
A research by the Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) f the Centre for Scientific and Indusial Research (CSIR) shows that groundnuts cultivated off season using irrigation produce higher yields-about twice-the yield obtained from groundnuts cultivated under rainfall. The research conducted using “a low pressure drip irrigation system” also proven that groundnut grown during the off-season are free from the leaf spot disease prentent during the rainy season and which result in reduction in yields of between 50 and 60 per cent if not protected.
Dr Jesse Naab, Head of the Wa Office of SARI, announced this he conducted newsmen round a demonstration farm at the Sankana small-scale irrigation dam site in the Nadowli district.
He said the research was collaborative effort of researchers at SARI and the University of Florida, USA with founding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
According to Dr Naab, results from the 2008 research showed that one could obtain about 20 tonnes per hectare fresh groundnuts harvested in February, 3.3 tonnes per hectares in April and 3.4 tonnes per hectare in May.
He said results from the first harvest this year gave a yield of 3,500 kilogrammes per hectare, approximately 35 bags per hectare or 14 bags per acre.
Dr Naab said the overall goal of the research was to demonstrate the potential for farmers in the region to produce high-value groundnuts for income-generation during the off season using irrigation.
Additionally he explained, it was also to determine the effects of different planting dates and irrigation amount on the growth and yield of groundnuts produced during the off-season.
Dr Naab urged farmers to take advantage of the numerous small-scale irrigations schems in the region to explore the potential for off-season groundnuts production to earn more money so as to help fight poverty in the area.
He observed that fresh groundnuts mostly from the transitional zone of Ghana – Techiman and Akomadan – during the early part of the rainy season – between April – July – has higher market value than that of the main September / October rainy season.
A farmer, David Badeneo, who cultivated one-and-a-half acres of groundnuts, testified that groundnuts cultivated under irrigation had higher yield than rain fed.
Mr Badeneo siaid he made more money from the groundnuts cultivation than from maize.
He urged the youth to put the small-scale dams available to good use by venturing into off-season farming, especially, cultivation of groundnuts and to desist from traveling down south in search of menial jobs.
He commended SARI for the introduction of the technology and urged the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to assist farmers adopt it to increase productivity.
He asked his colleagues to adopt modern techniques of farming and adhere strictly to technical advice to enable them to derive maximum benefit from their farming activities.