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Groundnut which was introduced into East Africa by Portuguese explorers in the 19th Century is the second most important legume after beans in Uganda. The crop started being grown in the Eastern Region after 1930s. Groundnuts thrive under low rainfall and as a legume they improve soil fertility by fixing nitrogen into the soil.

The country at the moment is producing over 300,000 tonnes of groundnuts.

Varieties of Groundnuts

The varieties of groundnuts available in Uganda include the following:
• The Pale-Kernelled spreading type known under various local names (Itesot/Amasoga)
• The Red Valencia type, but ranging from large seeded Manyema group e.g. Roxo to small seeded group e.g. Red Beauty
• The Indiana (Serenut 11 and Serenut lV) new varieties distributed by Socadido and NAADS.

Forms in which Groundnuts can be consumed
The groundnuts can be consumed in the following forms:

• Groundnut is consumed Raw
• Groundnuts can be Roasted
• Groundnuts can Blanched
• Groundnuts can be made into Peanut Butter
• Groundnuts can be Crushed mixed with Traditional Dishes or cooked on its own as source

Benefits of Groundnuts
The benefits of groundnuts include the following:
• Groundnuts are an excellent source of oil for Cooking.
• Groundnut cake are commonly used as Animal Feed.
• Groundnuts are largely grown by family farmers as Staple Food.
• Groundnuts can be sold to Raise Income.
• Groundnuts provide a valuable source of Proteins, Energy, Fats and Minerals.

Areas in Uganda that grow Groundnuts

Groundnuts can be grown in nearly all parts of Uganda but higher production levels are following districts:
• Tororo
• Soroti
• Kumi
• Kaberamido
• Amuria
• Bukedia

Challenges faced by farmers

The challenges faced by the farmers include the following:
• Lack of improved varieties of seed as the improved varieties are very expensive
• Lack of capacity for disease control
• Limited storage facilities.
• Local farmers do not have capital buy procure the necessary tools and inputs
• Damage by Pest such as monkeys, squirrels, pigs , rats and birds

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