Peanuts (Arachis Hypogea L.) or commonly known as legumes or groundnuts, are packed with several health benefits. The nuts contain monounsaturated fats and other nutrients that are healthy for the functioning of the heart. Peanuts are also a rich source of antioxidants such as oleic acid responsible for the lowering of deaths from coronary heart diseases. The resveratrol found in nuts improves the blood flow in the brain and reduces the risk of stroke. Peanut cultivation began in South America dating back to 7500 years ago. In the 1st century, the plant reached Mexico where it further spread to North America, China, and Africa. The peanut is a common crop that can be found all over the world. But the main production countries are the following.
Raw peanuts in metric tones, based on 2017 cultivation year.
|3||United States of America||3,281,110|
Cultivation seasons per country.
China grows more peanuts than anywhere else in the world. The production of peanut in the country contributes significantly to the economy. In China, groundnuts are mainly grown in seven regions according to the ecological zoning. 70% of the nuts are produced in the provinces of Jiangsu, Shandong, Guangdong, and Henan. Household Responsibility of Cultivation System in China has led to an increased production of peanuts due to the incentive of semi-private ownership. The market economy for peanuts has also contributed to the increase in the yield per ha. China managed to produce 17,150,121 metric tons of groundnuts according to FAO. The country accounts for 8% of the world peanut export.
India is the second largest peanut producer in the world. The nuts are produced in different variety including Spanish, bold, and red natal. Groundnuts are primary sources of oilseed crop in the country and bridge the vegetable deficit in the country. The crop is planted in two cycles and harvested in March and October thus making the nuts available throughout the year. In India, the nuts are grown in Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Karnataka, and Maharashtra. India produced 9,179,000metric tons of peanuts in 2017. The peanut major export destination for India includes Indonesia, Pakistan, and Malaysia.
*Greece is in this table for comparing the local market
The cultivation of peanuts in Greece has been moving at an increasingly rapid pace for the past 7 years. After the vertical fall in the beginning of 1990 and following almost 2 decades (1992-2011) of low production, the cultivation of the Greek groundnut returned dynamically and in an impressive way.
A decisive role in the contribution of this impressive increase is the conversion of the farmers of the region of Serres to the cultivation of groundnuts. The project of the company BIONOT, which from 2011, began to encourage and advertise the cultivation of peanuts and later in 2012 to establish a collection and processing unit in the area of Strimoniko Serres, began to yield almost immediately.
With BIONOT’s advisory guidance to the farmers, supervision, the knowledge of the chain of production and promotion and of course the arable land, the production in Serres Almost tripled within 6 years.
In contrast to the imported peanuts (mainly China and Argentina), the climate of Greece and the quality of the land of the plains of Serres give high quality peanuts, tasty and retaining unchanged their nutritional properties thanks to the direct processing and distribution in the local market. In the graph below you can see the ratio of peanut cultivation to the region of Serres ( and the rest of Greece during the years 2011-2016 (graph 1).
The following graph is the annual analysis of the production of region of Serres from 2011 to 2018 * (graph 2).