Home made peanut butter

Among the nuts I know from my village, groundnuts are the most expensive on the markets when sold without any modification – value addition. In Nairobi, Kenya, 100kg bag sells at approximately Sh11000 minimum (above 100USD) and it’s becoming an important cash crop in many parts of Kenya. Going forward in persuading youths to get their hoes and go to the farm, this would be an excellent opportunity for them. Groundnuts, I was told they have effects equivalent to those of Mondia whitei. – they do magic to men besides being rich in protein and edible oils.

I am also informed that they also come in different varieties, we have Red Valencia and Manipinta. The red Valencia are small in size, tastier and a highly marketable variety – sweet things always come in small packages. An acre of land may produce between 3-8 bags which take three months to harvest. On the other side, Manipinta is a large variety and highly preferable because of its high yields. An acre produces up to 12 bags although takes a longer period of time in the fields compared to Red Valencia.

 The current prices for groundnuts are looking up and so farmers are changing from growing other crops to groundnuts. Youths, it’s time we learnt to grab opportunities while they are still hot. Approximately an acre of groundnut would give the farmer an extra KES1000 with Red Valencia variety, while the Manipinta variety gives KES5000. This is according to a previous research by Kenya Agricultural Research Institute’s research that was conducted in Matunda, Kitale in Kenya.

Making things even easier, it is not hard to grow them. All you need is to follow the following steps;

  • Obtain clean healthy seed for planting
  • Prepare land early before the rains
  • Plant at the beginning of the rains in rows of 1ft(30cm) between the rows and 6 inches(15cm)between plants for the small seeded varieties like red Valencia.1ft (30cm) between the rows and 6 inches (15cm) between plants for the small seeded varieties like Red valencia.11/2ft (45cm) between rows and 8-9 inches (20cm) between plants for larger Seeded varieties like Manipinta
  • During planting, put a pinch of fertilizer per hole.
  • Plant one groundnut seed per hole

Weeding

  • Weed 2-3 weeks after germination
  • Do a second and third weeding before the groundnuts produce flowers if necessary
  • Ensure enough earth-up during the last weeding.
  • After they have flowered, do not walk through or weed the groundnuts.

Maturity and harvesting

Red Valencia is ready for harvesting after 3 months while the manipinta takes 4 months .During harvesting, carefully dig out the pods from the ground and shake off the soil. Dry them on a clean surface and manually shell them. The money I have mentioned above can be gotten by those who come this far but we can get more. The secret is in value addition.

Value addition processes

There are many value addition processes that can be done on groundnuts. Groundnuts can be ground and used to make sauce or even porridge – very nutritious and cost what I had someone say an arm and a leg – meaning expensive. It can also be used in making homemade butter. Doing this is easy and the capital for it is not big. With all the above, then why shouldn’t you make a try on growing groundnuts? – or even specialize in the value adding bit.

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