The groundnut,also known as the peanut,and taxonomically classified as Arachis hypogaea,is a legume crop grown mainly for its edible seeds.Groundnuts develop underground,rather than above ground.With this characteristic in mind,the Swedish botanist,Carl Linnaeus named the species ,hypogaea,which means "under the earth " .
Groundnuts grow best in light,sandy loam soil with a P.H of 5.9 -7 .
Groundnut is propagated making use of the seed.The planting date in the Southern part of Nigeria is March - April while in the Northern part is from May to June.
The ideal seed rate is two to three seeds per hole.
To develop well,groundnuts need warm weather throughout the growing season.
Depending on growing conditions and varieties,harvesting of groundnuts is usually 90 days to 150 days after planting.The timing of harvest is an important decision to maximise yield.If harvested too early,too many pods will be unripe.If done too late,the pods will snap off at the stalk and will remain in the soil.
The groundnut seed called the nuts contains about 40% -55% oil , 30% protein and 18% carbohydrate.