In Nepal, Peanut is commonly known as "Badam". It is not among the main food items in any part of Nepal. But in recent times, a number of small factories are processing and packing peanuts in fairly a large scale. Within the last two decade, peanut has been grown extensively by farmers in parts of Nepal as a cash crop when its demand as an oil seed increased rapidly.

Climate and Soil
Peanuts are a subtropical legume crop needing relatively warm growing conditions and 500 to 600 mm of well-distributed rainfall, plus stored soil water, to produce a high-yielding crop.
Normally, peanuts are cultivated in the rainy season, so known as rainy-season crop. But it can be grown twice a year, once in the rainy season and then in the winter season. In the hilly region, it is cultivated in summer whereas in other places in spring.

Seed Sources and Varieties

Generally farmers select and store seeds from their own harvest. Farmers who grow peanuts as a cash crop, buy improved variety of seeds from market. In Nepal, NARC has been the source of seed for high yield varieties.

Land Preparation

The land has to be ploughed and harrowed a number of times in order to make the soil soft and loose. It requires a lot of hardwork from the farmer point of view. Any rocks found in the farm are also removed. Also manure/compost is spread during land preparation. Thus, the land preparation begins in January for Hill farmers and February for Terai. Farmers use spades for preparing the land. Today, tractors are also used for ploughing.


Sowing

Sowing is accomplished either by following plough (dropping single seed on the furrow at 12- 18 inches apart) or by dropping seeds in the holes prepared for that purpose by using a spade or a metal rod. The seeds should not be thickly covered with soil. Seeds should be covered with a thin layer (3 to 6 cm) of moist soil. Plantation is done in morning as moisture content is much better in soil in the morning and this helps in germination. The shells are removed only at the time of sowing. On average, 100 to 120 kg peanuts (with shells) seed is needed for one hectare of land. Sometimes kerosene is also sprinkled in the seed nuts before seeding as it saves the seed from attack of white grub, ants, and other insects during germination.


Cultural Practices

A range of foliar and soil-borne diseases affect peanuts. Management practices such as crop rotation, variety selection and the use of fungicides can minimize the effect of most of these diseases. It is also cultivated under maize plants. Generally crop-rotation is done in order to maintain the soil structure and reduce the problems of soil-borne and other diseases.


Weeding

Regular weeding is necessary in order to get a good harvest of peanuts. Generally weeding is done after one month of sowing. Weeding is repeated as required. Sometimes, fertilizers including urea are applied during the first weeding.


Irrigation

As it is cultivated during rainy season, irrigation is not so important. One inch of water a week is plenty for peanuts. Being legumes, peanuts supply their own nitrogen, so avoid nitrogen-rich fertilizers, which encourages foliage rather than fruits. Well-prepared soil will provide all the nutrients the plants need.


Fertilizes

In Nepal, NARC recommends the use of 20 Kg Nitrogen, 40 Kg Phosphorus and 20 Kg Potassium per hectare land. Some varieties, which have comparatively big plants and give big pods need additional Sulfur and Calcium too. Similarly, Risobium N.C. 92 organic manure is also prescribed for peanut cultivation.


Harvesting

When the nuts are ready for harvesting, the plant becomes dry. Harvesting is done by pulling the plants as well as by digging. Peanut is ready to harvest when.

Plants of peanuts is yellow and dry.
Maturity date of peanuts (110 to 150 days) is reached
Nuts inside the pods are hard
The crop is often artificially dried to avoid losses from lying in the paddock too long. Firstly, peanuts are cleaned to remove soil. For yield of high quality product, the temperature, humidity, airflow, and drying must be strictly followed.


Seed Storage

It is stored in jute sacks with the mouth tied sown with strings. The leaves of neem plant can save seeds from attack of insects so peanuts seeds can be mixed with some neem plant. It should be placed in dry and airy area. Some sort of chemicals also helps in protection of seeds from insects.

Land preparation

Sowing

Weeding

Manure

Harvesting

Terai

February, March and April

May- June

After one month of sowing

Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potash are spread after preparing the land.
Urea is needed after one week of weeding..

August to September

Hills

January and February

March- April

After one month of sowing

Compost is used during land preparation.
Urea may be used after weeding.

August to October