Ghana: Groundnut


Groundnut Summary Fact Sheet

Average National output (2015-2020)
  • 488,300 MT 

SRID, 2020

Contribution of Northern Regions
  • 85%
Annual National Total Production (2019 and 2020)
  • 563,000 MT (2019)
  • 565,000 MT (2020)

         (Source: MoFA, 2020)

Total Area under Cultivation (2019 and 2020)
  • 337,000 Ha (2019)
  • 337,000 Ha (2020)

SRID, 2020

Cropping cycle
  • One cropping cycle (Guinea Savannah and Sudan savannah)
  • Two cropping cycles (Forest Zone)


Planting Time
  • April (Guinea Savannah: One Season)
  • May (Sudan Savannah: One Season)
  • April and September (Forest Areas: Two Seasons)

       Plant when rains have settled

Planting Distance
  • 40 cm x 20 cm
  • 50 cm x 20 cm (Recommended)
Density (Plant Population per Ha)
  • 125,000 Plants (40 cm x 20 cm)
  • 100,000 Plants (50cm x 20cm)
Type(s) of Fertilizer used for Production
  • Inorganic Fertilizer: (NPK 12-30-17 + 0.4 Zn, NPK 15:15:15)
  • Organic Fertilizer: (Cow dung, Poultry manure and Compost)


Fertilizer Application Rate per Ha

Inorganic Fertilizer

  • 5 bags per ha: NPK (NPK 12-30-17 + 0.4 Zn)
  • NPK 15:15:15
  • Triple Super Phosphate (TSP)

Organic Fertilizer  

  • Cow dung – 3 tons/ha.
  • Poultry manure – 4 tons per ha.
  • Compost – 5 tons per ha.
Potential Yield per Ha
  • 3.50 MT/Ha (3,500 Kg/Ha)
National Average Yield (2019 and 2020)
  • 1.63 MT /Ha (1,630 Kg/Ha) 
  • 1.68 MT/Ha (1,680 Kg/Ha)

      SRID 2020

Reduction in Yields
  • 60% Decrease in Yield due to Disease Infestation
  • Decrease in Supply
 Market & Trade
Price Trends (2019)
  • GHȼ472.01 (82Kg - Average Wholesale)
  • GHȼ560.06 (82 Kg - Average Retail)
Annual Total Export
  • 116 MT  

SRID, 2020

 Budget Benchmarks
Cost of Production per Ha
  • GHȼ 2,394.53
Average Gross Margins per Ha per Season
  • GHȼ 7,005.47  (Profit Margins of about 74.5%)
Seed, Feed and Wastage
  • 42,226 MT



General Overview of Groundnut Production

Groundnuts also known as peanuts are grown in both the northern and southern zones of Ghana. However, it is widely grown in northern Ghana both for home consumption and sale, with women actively involved in the harvesting, processing, and marketing.

Ghana is ranked as the 10th largest producer of groundnuts in the world but consumes most of its produce locally. Perhaps because of the crop’s status as a traditional food grown primarily for the domestic market. Public investment to raise productivity and strengthen the linkage within the value chain, from farmers to end-users, has been relatively limited.

Until recent times, Ghana’s agricultural policy and programmes seems primarily focused on starchy staples such as maize, rice and cassava, or export commodities such as cocoa and oil palm. However, groundnut is amongst the crops under the Planting for Food and Jobs Programme (PFJ) since its inception in 2017. New investments to develop innovative groundnut products in Ghana could offer an unusual opportunity to improve productivity, diet quality and health, through a relatively neglected value chain that links northern low-income groundnut growing households to low-income consumers around the country.

In 2020, the area planted to groundnut nationwide was about 377,000 ha resulting in production output of 565,000 metric tonnes. The average yield on-farm for the commodity under rain-fed conditions is 1.68 Mt/ha but has a potential of 3.5 Mt/ha.

Low yields in groundnut is largely attributed to the usage of poor-quality seeds, poor agronomic practices, and other factors.

Production Trend of Groundnut in Ghana between 2011and 2020

Annual Production ‘000Mt465.10475.10408.80426.63417.20425.83433.77521.03563565
Annual Area Planted ‘000Ha356.8345.2328.9334.53336.45327.38316.31319.68337337
Yield (Mt/Ha)1.301.381.

Research efforts have been intensified by legume breeders at CSIR-SARI and CSIR-CRI to develop varieties for improved productivity. A number of these varieties have been bred to address farmers needs and meet various markets.


Groundnut Value Chain

Groundnut Value Chain Linkage

Input provision  

The groundnut value chain starts with the supply of inputs including seeds, agrochemicals, farm equipment and tractor services. Farmers growing groundnuts have two potential sources of seeds:  

  • the informal baskets of seeds reserved from their earlier harvest or purchased from neighbouring farmers and through seed exchanges,
  • the formal sector selling certified seeds that might be available through local agro-dealers and agricultural supply stores.

Almost all producers use own retained seed or seeds purchased informally in local markets. The resulting seeds are a mixture of improved varieties that have been given local names, sometimes crossed with local seed types.

Groundnut farmers use almost no fertilizers due to their relative cost and lack of access and the natural nitrogen-fixing capabilities of groundnut plants. However, in recent times under the Planting for Food and Jobs Programmes, farmers are given a 50% subsidy on fertilizers and seeds and this has improved the situation.

Except for a few instances where some land preparation and shelling are mechanized, most farm operations are manual. Tractors are used on large holdings, but these are a small fraction of all farms in Ghana.


Groundnut is cultivated by almost all farming communities in the transitional zone and northern Ghana. It is estimated that more than 70% of farmers in the northern part of Ghana cultivate groundnuts and together account for over 85% of the national output. In Ghana, as in the rest of West Africa, groundnut is termed as the woman’s crop due to the major roles women play in its production, marketing, and processing. They function as farmers, traders and in some cases as labourers in planting, harvesting, and shelling. There is an appreciable female involvement compared to other crops like sorghum and rice. The production activities or functions involve land preparation, sowing, and maintenance in the sense of weed control, fertilizer application (in few cases), pests and diseases management, harvesting and finally farm-gate processing or post-harvest management. Primary producers employ hired labourers to carry out activities such as weeding and harvesting of groundnuts. In most cases, family labour is employed in addition to the hired labour to reduce labour cost.  

Groundnut is mainly produced under rain-fed conditions and has mainly one cropping season in a year. However, in the transition and some parts of the Upper East Region, particularly in the Kassena-Nankana West District, some farmers can crop twice in a year by taking advantage of dams around. Farm sizes are generally small with an average of 0.8 ha. Harvested nuts are sun-dried for 5-7 days depending on the intensity of the sun. The dried nuts are either sold in the shelled or unshelled depending on the farmer or market.  

The potential yield with currently certified seed or improved hybrid materials is 3.5 MT/ha or higher if grown in suitable growing areas with adequate nutrition, moisture, and production methods.

Marketing and Distribution

The groundnut assembling, wholesale as well as retail markets for both dry and processed nuts are dominated by women. Retailers are exclusively women. Though traders operate as individuals, most of them are members of trader-associations. Each bigger market, especially in southern Ghana, has an association for groundnut traders which are often headed by the commodity “queens”. The status and function of the queen is an expression of traditional hierarchies; she establishes informal market rules such as the setting of prices for groundnut and the authorization of new entrants. This is binding on all members of the association.

Dried groundnuts from producing regions are marketed both within and outside the regions. These are either traded at the farm gate, the local market either in community or neighbouring community/town, wholesale market within the district or region or wholesale market outside the region. Apart from acting as intermediary at the market, distributors buy groundnut directly from producers or markets located in production areas and supply to end-users. Rural assemblers within the farming communities purchase from farmers and sell to wholesalers and at times retailers in the cities. At certain times also, several distributors, particularly wholesalers, travel from one community to the other or even sometimes across the boundaries of the country to Burkina Faso to purchase groundnuts themselves. This is usually common during the lean season.

Most of the assemblers use their own money to finance transactions. They can also get cash advances from wholesalers, who play important roles in informal finance in rural and urban areas. Some wholesalers in Accra do not travel to producing centres to buy groundnuts themselves, instead deposit money into the accounts of their agents at the production centres. The agents, in turn, do all the purchases and send groundnuts through transport operators to these wholesalers.

Post-Harvest and Processing

A major influence on the groundnut value chain is how farmers handle the crop after harvest, and how marketed groundnuts enter any off-farm storage and processing before sale to end-users.

Typically, in the Northern Region, harvested groundnuts are laid out on the ground to dry in the open air often left exposed to dirt, dust, vermin, and insects. The best practice is to dry under the unclosed protected area to ensure the quality of the nuts.  

Processors, whose scale of operations seems to be concentrated at small scale levels, represent an important sector for women. They process groundnut into oil, cake, paste, roasted groundnuts and other groundnut-based products. Most of the processing takes place at the individual or household level. Some women processors in Techiman (Bono East Region), have received some assistance from Technoserve (an international NGO) and the government to organize themselves into cooperatives. This enables them to take up large orders and maintain continuous supply to institutional buyers and wholesalers from cities like Sunyani, Kumasi and Takoradi.

A certain portion of the kernels kept by the farmers are pressed in the home for the extraction of the vegetable oil which is a major source of income for rural women. The pressed groundnut meal left behind is used as an ingredient in many other dishes prepared in the home.


Aggregation of groundnut is concentrated in the North of Ghana. Some of the major processing companies of groundnuts are situated in the Northern Regions. Techiman is also a major producing and a transit market for groundnut aggregators, from where they are distributed to Kumasi and to Sekondi-Takoradi and Cape Coast in the coastal regions. Kumasi is another major aggregation and consuming centre of groundnut. Groundnut aggregators also move groundnuts directly from the north to Accra for final consumption and processing.

Retailing of groundnut oil and paste is another function solely undertaken by women. Retailers may trade a combination of paste, oil, roasted groundnuts, or several other commodities. They go to the homes of individual processors or markets for their supplies. Village-level retailers buy processed products from urban processors almost every market day. Depending on the relationship between retailers and processors as well as the financial standing of both parties, some retailers sometimes buy oil/paste on credit and settle their debt after-sales. Research findings indicate that retailers also give cash advances to processors prior to supplies.  


The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) reports show that Ghanaians consume on average 15.83 kg of groundnuts per capita/ year.

Groundnuts serves as a major source of total energy, protein, fat and certain essential vitamins and minerals and are used extensively in many dishes. Roasted groundnuts are eaten as a snack and groundnut butter is used extensively as an ingredient in many dishes such as soup and stews.  

Consumption is typically seasonal, as in the north the months of April to July are the season when stored stocks from the previous growing year may be running low and new crops have yet to become available.

According to MoFA’s statistics on the food balance sheet for 2020 production season, the country is currently self-sufficient in groundnut production (see table below). A total of 565,000 Mt of the commodity is produced annually. Out of this figure, about 415,801 Mt (representing 85%) is consumed as food by humans. 10% of the production goes into Seed, Feed and Wastage. Less than 1% (15.80 Mt) is exported.

Food Balance Sheet (2020) Production Season (Groundnut)

Total Production565,000 Mt
Human Consumption (food)415,801 Mt 
Total Imports0 Mt
Carry over stock48,996 Mt
Exports 116 Mt
Seed, Feed and Wastage42,226 Mt


Key Agronomic Practices

Key Agronomic Practices and their Importance 

Good Agricultural PracticeBrief Description and Importance

Planting Material


Farmers usually plant late maturing and low yielding varieties. 

In practice, variety should be selected based on weather information, topography, soil type, ecology, pest/disease resistance and consumer demand. The most suitable variety is the one best meeting farmers’ and consumer’s needs as well as meeting the changing climatic conditions (drought, pest and disease tolerance, earliness, salinity etc.) Common varieties  promoted are Obolo, Oboshie, Yenyawoso, Nkateiesari, SARINUT 1&2, Otuhia, Abakan and Chinese.

Land Preparation

The objectives of field preparation are based on the following principles: Elimination and control of undesirable plants like crop volunteers and weeds to reduce competition with the established main crop. The land therefore should be cleared, ploughed, and harrowed:

  • To provide favourable conditions for sowing, allowing germination, emergence, and good plant development.
  • For maintenance of fertility and productivity over the long term by preserving the soil organic matter and avoiding erosion.
  • For breaking off hard pans or compacted layers to increase water infiltration whilst avoiding erosion.
  • To facilitate mixing of fertilizers, lime, or agro-chemical products into the soil.
  • For the incorporation of organic and agricultural residues.
  • For tillage operations to be repeated when the weed seeds are just germinated.

When the soils are heavily infested with perennial weeds like Cynodon or Cyperus, deep ploughing is needed.

On land that has been fallowed for two years or more, practice traditional land clearing techniques common in each agro-ecology.   

Choose Suitable Soils



Groundnuts can be grown on most soils. However, heavy- textured clay soils should be avoided. Areas with high rainfall and high humidity may also be avoided because of high disease incidence. Ideally, well-drained, friable sandy loams are preferred.

Choose level land or land with a gentle slope, wherever you decide to cultivate groundnut.  Avoid areas with steep slopes, sandy and clayey soils. Choose a deep and well-drained loamy soil for maximum productivity. 

Sandy soils do not retain water after rain or irrigation and expose plants to drought stress, which can cause total crop failure depending on the crop’s growth stage and duration of the drought.

Agro Climate ConditionsGroundnuts are well adapted to a wide range of climatic conditions. For maximum yields and production of a good quality crop, cultivate groundnut in above-ground ecology with an annual rainfall of not less than 550mm and well distributed throughout the growing period.



Planting is the most critical phase in the establishment of a new crop on a prepared field. Some steps to consider before planting includes 

  • seed selection,
  • germination test and
  • seed treatment

Altering planting dates can be used to escape diseases and pest attack.

Planting period or cropping calendar differs according to the agro-ecological zone. These cropping calendars are based on the establishment of the rains in each agro-ecological zone. However, farmers experience is the best guide. Experience over the years indicates that planting as early as possible after the rains have established is likely to give the highest yield. Farmers in the Guinea Savannah and Sudan savannah plant once in the cropping cycle around April and May respectively. Farmers in the forest can grow two crops in April and September.


Pest and Disease Management



Pests may damage groundnuts by destroying foliage, sucking plant sap, feeding on roots and pods and transmitting disease organisms. Three main groups of pests attack groundnuts. These are Mites, Millipedes and Insects. All these groups attack either the above ground (leaves or stems) or the underground parts (pods and roots). The foliage feeders are further divided into 2 groups i.e. chewing pests and piercing (sucking) pests.

There is no single control method for all the pests that attack groundnuts. Soil pests are more difficult to control than the foliage pests. Some pest control measures for groundnut are detailed below.

Cultural control

  • Rogue volunteer crops and remove weed hosts
  • Plant early to evade peak population of pests (temporal tolerance)
  • Plant densely, particularly in reducing aphid infestation and hence rosette incidence

Natural enemies: There are a few beneficial insects that naturally regulate the population of groundnut pests, e.g. ladybird beetles, hoverflies, lacewings and parasitic wasp. These natural enemies are very susceptible to synthetic insecticides. Use insecticide only when necessary.


Groundnut is affected by several diseases, which can reduce yield by up to 60%. The major diseases are 

  • Early and late leaf spot
  • Rusts
  • Rosette
  • Groundnut clump
  • Groundnut mould
  • Stem and pod rot

Yield losses are increased when late and early leaf spots and rusts merge. 

To control these diseases, spray with fungicide e.g. Benlate, Plant disease resistant varieties, Plant early or alter planting dates, practice crop rotation etc.

Soil Fertility Management


The nutritional requirement of a crop is dependent on the variety, soil nutrient content, available moisture, and the level of crop husbandry. As a leguminous crop, groundnut can fix some amount of atmospheric nitrogen. It is also efficient in obtaining nutrients from the soil by exploiting residual fertilizers, especially phosphorus from previous applications.

Higher yields will be obtained if some amount of fertilizer especially phosphorous and potassium are applied before planting or shortly after planting. 

The recommended rate of fertilizer depends on the agro-ecology, soil type, cropping history of the field and soil nutrient test.

  • For Forest-Savannah Transition, Guinea Savannah, apply 5 bags of compound fertilizer blend (NPK 12-30-17 + 0.4 Zn) per ha.
  • For Coastal Savannah, Forest and Transition agro-ecological zones, apply 2.5 bags of compound fertilizer (NPK 15:15:15) per ha.

Weed Management


Weeds  act as hosts for pests and reduce both yield and quality of the nut. In addition, fodder yield may also be reduced since groundnut is not a strong competitor for resources, particularly at the establishment stage. In other words, groundnut should be kept free of weeds after establishment. When fields are left unweeded, groundnut can be completely smothered by weeds resulting in total yield loss. Weeds compete with the crop, during growth, for light, water, and nutrients. Weeds can cause greater yield reduction than arthropods, bacteria, viruses and fungi  disease attacks and may lower quality of the produce. Control weeds early, especially during the first six weeks after planting.

Good land preparation helps in controlling weeds and gives groundnut a starting growth advantage over weeds. 

Recommended herbicides can also be employed in checking weeds. An alternative to manual weed control is to practice no-tillage.



Irrigation is helpful in maintaining yield and quality when natural rainfall is inadequate, especially, during the peg and pod filling period. Irrigated fields should have a good weed and disease control programme to prevent excessive losses in yield and quality. 

There are three major stages in the life cycle when moisture stress can cause a significant reduction in the quantity or quality of groundnuts produced:

  • Germination through early vegetative growth.
  • 50-110 days after planting (the critical flowering, pegging, pod initiation, and pod fill period). The pegging zone must be kept moist to ensure that pegs are able to enter the soil and start pod initiation. Hot dry soils can result in pegs being damaged, delaying maturity, and lowering yields.
  • 110 days until harvest water requirement is reduced; however, extreme drought and high temperatures during this period can predispose the pods to increased aflatoxin levels.

Water according to needs dictated by the growing conditions. The actual amount and frequency of water required will depend on the growth stage of the plant, soil type, and predominant weather conditions (temperature, rainfall, wind speed and relative humidity). 

Do not wait until drought symptoms occur to irrigate. This will result in loss of yield and delay maturity ultimately reducing quality. It is also best to maintain adequate soil moisture during the fruiting period. Drought during this period can often lead to a split crop that makes harvest and crop management more difficult and expensive.

Cropping Systems



Most farmers intercrop ground nuts with cereal such as sorghum, millet and maize. It is also intercropped, with yams and cassava. Advantages of intercropping includes:

  • Insurance against total crop failure
  • Greater total productivity per unit of land for intercrops than sole crops
  • Supply of better-balanced diet for the farm families
  • Better control of weeds and soil erosion
  • Avoidance of expensive labour cost during the cropping period
  • As a legume, groundnuts fixes nitrogen into the soil for the use by component crops

The groundnut population may vary considerably depending on the importance a farmer attaches to the companion crop. Spatial arrangements, population density and suitable varieties for inter-cropping are yet to be established in Ghana.

Crop Rotation

Groundnut should not be cultivated on the same piece of land for successive years. It should be included in crop rotation. Rotation helps to control pests and diseases, e.g. Nematodes, mould, leaf spot, etc. It is recommended that crops which are susceptible to infestation by the same pests and diseases should not succeed one another in rotation.     

Harvest Management


The groundnut plant usually gives an indication of when to harvest. They should be harvested when approximately 75 % of the pods have reached the maturity; that is when the leaves turn to yellow colour and dry at the tips. At the same time, the soil desiccates to such an extent that the plant withers and the seeds in the pods begin to shrivel and take on a ripe appearance.

Loosen the soil around the plants with a spade or garden fork before harvesting groundnuts. Generally, groundnuts are harvested by pulling/digging out the whole plant with nuts attached. It is shaken to get rid of the excess soil from the roots, still leaving the pods attached. Check the soil to make sure you are not leaving any pods behind.

Premature or delayed harvesting will affect oil content, aflatoxin incidence and fungal infection. The conventional method of determining maturity is by randomly digging a few plants and assessing pod-fill by pressing and cracking nuts. The inside wall of matured pods are usually dark brown. 

Post-Harvest practices 


Drying and Sorting

After the harvest, groundnuts pods are dried on the sun. The dried harvested nuts may be left for a few weeks either on the farm or in the homestead. Dried nuts move freely inside pods when shaken. They are later threshed and winnowed. The groundnuts are also sorted. Sorting aims at separating fully filled grains and unfilled or damaged ones and stored. 


Pods provide protection for the groundnut seeds and allow their storage for long periods without significant loss of viability. Dried groundnuts can be stored in sacks, clay/mud silos, large woven straw baskets, clay pots, etc. until needed.


Shell groundnuts when needed. For seed, shell groundnuts a few days to planting. Shelling can be done by Hand (cracking) or Machine (decorticators).

Processing/Uses of Groundnut

Groundnuts is a source of protein and oil. It contains about 21-25% protein and about 45% oil. Groundnuts can be eaten boiled/ roasted, processed into oil for cooking or a paste for soups and spreads. They are also used in the confectionery industry as groundnuts are processed into various products such as cooking oil, groundnut butter etc.



Key Risks Along the Value Chain and Mitigation Measures

Value Chain ActionsKey Risks and ChallengesMitigation Measures
Input SupplySeed quality and variety types affecting productivity

- Use improved and certified seeds and agro-input for production

- Training on Good agricultural Practices

FinanceInadequate credit and unsuitable financing mechanisms to support existing and prospective farmers

Provision of incentives

Interest subsidies for actors


Climate Change (Erratic rainfall patterns)


Cultivate early maturing varieties 

Use drought-tolerant varieties 

Pay attention to early warning systems and plant when the rains have stabilized 

Cultivate in valley bottoms

Soil infertility affecting yields

Carry out soil test before production

Apply recommended and appropriate fertilizers where appropriate

Train farmer in the management of soil nutrition

Pests and diseases attack


Pay attention to early warning systems

Apply recommended agro-chemicals

Use pests and disease tolerant recommended varieties

Post-harvest handling

High post-harvest losses and wastages

Aflatoxin infestation



- Practice good harvesting and handling management

- Improved (enclosed) transport means

- Training on processing and product diversity and utilization

- Drying to acceptable moisture content level

Inadequate post-harvest infrastructure Install storage facilities in high growing areas

The volatility of market prices



- Establish strong B2B linkages between producers, processors, and industrial consumers. 

- Market information be made accessible to the public and value chain actors

ProcessingHigh-level traditional processing methods for threshing leading to low outputsUse improved processing technology (mechanical threshers)
ConsumptionLimited varieties meeting diverse consumer preferenceDevelop demand-driven groundnut varieties


Pests & Diseases, Symptoms and Control Measures

Major Pests and their Control Measures

PestSymptomsManagement/Control Measure

Thrips: (Scirtothrips dorsalis, Thrips palmi)

This small insect lives in the flowers and folded leaflets of groundnut. They are pale cream in colour and are usually hidden. They are numerous in the post-rainy season

  • Stunted growth in plants
  • Distortion of young leaflets
  • White patches appear on lower surface of the leaves
  • Grow tolerant varieties
  • Uproot and destroy severely infected plants
  • Use bio agents or natural enemies like lady bird beetles, praying mantis etc.
  • Spray appropriate and recommended insecticide


Leaf miner (Aproaerema modicella)

Leaf miners are the larvae of various beetles, flies, moths, and sawflies. The adult lays their eggs on the leaf and the larvae burrow into the leaf and tunnel through it, feeding and leaving a transparent trail of where they have been

  • Yellowish squiggly lines appear on leaves
  • Spots or blotches appear on leaves
  • The adult moths are attracted to light in the evening
  • Practice crop rotation with non-leguminous crops to considerably reduce the leaf miner population.
  • Use resistant or tolerant varieties


Termites primarily feed on wood, but some species collect green grasses and seeds and store these in their granaries inside their nest as food reserves. They are sporadic pests, and locally are important on a wide range of crops

  • Wilting which eventually leads to death in plants
  • Toppling in plant
  • Destroy termite nests on the field of cultivation
  • Treat seed with insecticide.


Millipedes (Peridontopyge spp.)

Millipedes are among the economically important soil pest of groundnuts. They are brown to blackish in color and curl when disturbed. They attack groundnut seedlings, between planting and approximately 20 days after planting, feeding on the emerging cotyledons and moving to the root system at the collar region.

  • Damaged cortex
  • Perforation in immature pods


  • Practice good sanitation.
  • Prepare land properly
  • Select sites away from forest (breeding sites for millipedes).
  • Cover exposed pods.
  • Close cracks in the soil.

Rodent and Birds

Rodents [especially rats, squirrel, mice, and wild rabbits] can cause serious damage by eating the seedlings early in the season. Birds [partridges, crows, etc. also pick seed after planting.

  • Scare rodents and birds especially early in the mornings and evenings
  • Keep farm free from weeds
  • Clear weeds within the immediate vicinity of your farm to destroy the hiding places of pests


Major Diseases and their Control Measure

DiseasesSymptomsManagement/ Control

Cercospora arachidicola

This is a fungal ascomycete plant pathogen that causes early leaf spot of groundnut

  • Brown lesions with chlorotic rings appear on the stems, leaves, and petioles of plant
  • Premature defoliation
  • Tufts of silvery, hair-like spores seen on lesions during humid weather
  • Use resistant cultivars to overcome pathogen and maintain yields
  • Spray with fungicide e.g. Benlate at the very early pod stage and applied every two weeks thereafter.
  • Practice early planting
  • Rotate with other crops

Groundnut Rosette Virus (GRV)

This is a groundnut pathogenic virus found in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is transmitted between plants by insect vectors such as the ground aphid (Aphis craccivora).

  • Yellowing, mottling and mosaic symptoms on leaves
  • Stunting and distortion of shoots
  • Downward rolling of leaflet margins
  • Reduction in size
  • Use resistant varieties
  • Practice mixed or intercropping
  • Early planting
  • Use close spacing
  • Combination of all control measures


Other Major Diseases of Groundnuts - Symptoms and Control Measures in Ghana

DiseaseSymptomsTime of Occurrence Control measures
RustRust-like spots (dead spots) on leaves4-13weeks after planting but prominent at the padding

Fungicide e.g.

  • Kocide
  • Benlate
  • Dithane M45
Peanut clumpDwarfismSeedling stage
  • Burn cereal stubble before land preparation since these may harbour the fungi causing the disease
  • Treat seed with a fungicide
Groundnut moldSeeds become moldy

Before harvest

During storage


  • Harvest when soil is moist
  • Harvested pods should be well dried before storage
Stem and pod rotWilting of lateral branches, leaves become chlorotic and turn brownAll stages of growth
  • Uproot and burn affected plants
  • Keep groundnut debris away from the field


Market Information on Groundnut

The major markets for trade and commerce of groundnut includes Northern, Upper East, Upper West, regions and parts of Brong Ahafo Region.

A variety of grain trading companies have practiced spot buying of groundnuts in the past, particularly Ghana Nuts Company in Techiman. They have typically done so through private aggregators. One private trader/aggregator who served this market is BASA Agribusiness in Tamale, who supplied groundnuts to Ghana Nuts on a commission basis, working with 62 agents who have their own farmers  in the various districts that they buy from. BASA Agribusiness used funds advanced to him from Ghana Nuts to pre-finance his agents so they could do the spot transactions. The firm was able to supply high volumes of groundnuts to Ghana Nuts until Ghana Nuts encountered problems of aflatoxin, because of inadequate drying  before storage.


Price Trends

The Ghana National annual average nominal wholesale market price for a ton of Maize as at  2021 was GHS5,829.30 whiles the annual real price was GHS4,497.94.

The Ghana National average wholesale market price per bag (82 kg) of Groundnut as at 2020 was GHS 623, decreased to GHS583 in 2021.

Average Wholesale Price for Groundnut(2012-2021)

SRID, MoFA             A Rebased CPI with 2012 constant prices 

World Prices for Groundnut and Ground oil 2000- 2022

World Bank Pink Sheet
World Bank Pink Sheet


Enterprise Budget for Groundnut

Production of One Hectare Groundnut under Rain-Fed Condition - Average yield of 2 Mt/ha (2019)

No.ActivityCost per Hectare (GH¢) Rain-Fed
Qty. / Freq.Unit cost (GHȼ)Total cost (GHȼ)
1Land preparationPloughing1200.00                    200.00 
Harrowing1100.00                    100.00 
2Crop establishmentCertified seed40kg7.00                    280.00 
Planting1 ha250.00                    250.00 
3Weed managementPre-emergence herbicide 2.5 lts35.00                    87.50
Application cost1 ha50.00                      50.00 
Weeding with Hoe (2 times)1 ha200.00                    200.00 
4Fertilizer managementSSP/TSP/NPK5120                    600.00           
Application cost150                      50.00
5Harvest 1 ha200.00                      200.00 
6Threshing1 ha200.00                    200.00 
7Bagging 20 bags1.00                      20.00 
8Empty sacks 202.00                      40.00 
9Sewing twine2 rolls1.50                      3.00 
 Production cost                   2,280.50 
 5% Contingency                     114.025 
 Total Production Cost2,394.53 (A) 
 Total Revenue 20 bags/haGHȼ 470 per 82 kg9,400.00 (B) 
 Net revenue (A-B) 7,005.47 


Key Policies and Programmes

Policy Environment and Regulations

Constraints for peanut value chain in Ghana include inadequate rural infrastructure and public services required by actors in the low-income Northern Region.

Government regulations and interventions that could potentially impact peanut farming include:

  • National Irrigation Policy, Strategies and Regulatory Measures, June 2010
  • Guidelines for National Plant Protection Policy, June 2004
  • National Water Policy, June 2007
  • Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1994 (Act 490)
  • Environmental Assessment Regulations, 1999, LI 1652 and its Amendment
  • Plants and Fertilizer Act, 2010 (Act 803)
  • Water Resources Commission Act, 1996 (Act 522)
  • Food and Drugs Act1992, PNDCL 3058
  • Irrigation Development Authority Act, 1977, SMCD 85
  • World Bank Safeguard Policy on Pest Management, OP 4.09
  • USAID Requirements on Pesticide Management

Regulatory practices can change at any time, however, so any specific new venture should be preceded by appropriate due diligence regarding any potential regulations that might apply to it.


Quality Standards for Aflatoxin  

The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) publishes the Ghana Standards Gazette that has specifications for groundnuts (GS 313:2001), code of practice for prevention and reduction of aflatoxin contamination in groundnuts (GS 1003:2009), and the determination of aflatoxins in foodstuffs (GS ISO 16050:2003). 


The different number of programmes and projects were fashioned to run and or are still running to support the growth of the grains industry in Ghana.

Projects and Programmes and their Outputs

West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme2013-2018Supported groundnut research and seed production in Ghana
Ghana Grains Development Project1979–1997Standardising pricing policy to promote competitiveness in the grain industry of Ghana.
Food Crops Development Project2000–2008To enable beneficiaries, raise their household incomes and improve overall nutritional status and standard of living through increased production, processing and marketing of farm produce.
National Food Buffer Stock Company (NAFCO)2010 to presentEstablished in insulating farmers from the glut on the market that usually resulted from improved production levels
Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) campaign2017 to present

Seeks to increase agriculture productivity and catalyse a structural transformation in the economy through increased farm incomes and job creation.

Motivate farmers to adopt certified seeds and fertilisers through a private sector-led marketing framework to raise the incentives and complimentary service provisions on the usage of inputs, good agronomic practices, and marketing of outputs over an e-agriculture platform


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