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Groundnut cultivation in Uttrakhand, sowing, weeding, harvesting and groundnut store

A major portion of Uttrakhand is a hill and slopy land and the rest is either near plains or exact plain region. It is not easy to practice the cultivation as same as plain regions. 

Terrace farming is very common here to prepare land for crop cultivation. 

Groundnut appear in roots of plants like potatoes and familiar with most of the root plants. Goundnuts appear like bunch of grapes and same as potato beneath the ground.   

Every year, 50 to 70 tons of groundnuts produce in Uttrakhand. People consume groundnuts in form of butter, by baking, in raw form, etc.   

Groundnut cultivation in Uttrakhand 

Requirements for groundnut cultivation in Uttrakhand 

Soil type, pH, and land availability

In valleys, mostly alluvial soil is popular for agriculture in Uttrakhand. Even for ordinary crops, sometimes farmers don't use organic fertilizers.

This alluvial soil keeps pH between 6 to 7. It means it is best for groundnut cultivation. 

On slopy mountain soil, groundnut cultivation is difficult because of the composition of the soil. But in comparison to alluvial soil in valleys, mountain soil is less fertilized. So after using organic compost mountain soil get ready for groundnut cultivation. 

Groundnut cultivation in uttrakhand

Practically, most of the groundnut cultivation of crops do near river valleys in Uttarakhand.   

Climate conditions and Humidity

Uttrakhand is the best example of the generalized climate of the whole of India. Uttrakhand is one of the most affected regions by the climate in India.

In summer, temperature varies between 28 to 35 degrees Celcius, in winters it varies between 0 to 18 degrees Celcius, and in the rainy season, rainfall varies between 50 to 200 mm. 

Humidity is an important factor in groundnut cultivation. Humidity decides the regularity of irrigation water in groundnut crops. 

In Uttrakhand, humidity varies from June to November, between 25% to 80% and soil remains moist enough to this period.  This is the reason why groundnut cultivation demands less irrigation water.  

Normally, groundnut cultivation can start in both Kharif and rabi seasons but in Uttrakhand, it starts from mid-June to the first week of July. 

Groundnuts become ready for harvesting till October-November in Uttrakhand. 

Types of groundnut seeds and their treatment

Types of seeds and seed treatment   
There are two types of groundnut, Mota dana, Chota dana, and overall multiple varieties of both kinds of seeds. 
The selection of seeds depends on the purpose of groundnut cultivation. For peanut butter, Mota dana groundnut is important, for general raw consumption, any kind of seed can use. 
In Uttrakhand, mainly following are the varieties in groundnut seeds-
  • Chitra
  • Kaushal
  • Parkash 
  • Amber
  • Kuber 
  • GAUG-1
  • GAUG-10
  • PG-1
  • T-28
  • T-64
  • Chandra

How to treat groundnut seeds?

If seeds don't get treatment before cultivation, then plants can get fungal diseases, black spots on leaves, and slow growth in a certain period.
In Uttrakhand, people use some organic cultures and use of Jaggery to treat such groundnut seeds. They sow them within the next 5 to 6 hours to get the best and healthy results.  

Process of growing Groundnuts

The following steps will help you to better understand the cultivation steps and process of groundnuts in Uttarakhand- 

Soil beds and fertilizers

In valleys regions, usually, people prepare soil beds for groundnut seeds at first. Few people, prepare the land and just start cultivation in simple methods. 

To make soil beds, first organic compost mixing is important. Then to combine the soil with fertilizers, they plow the land and mix both well. 

The next step is to make beds in a pyramid shape according to the length of the field.    

Although alluvial soil doesn't require any fertilizer from outside generally, in the case of less fertile soil in the valleys of Uttrakhand, people generally use organic cow dung compost as fertilizers. 

First, selected agricultural land gets plowed, and then soil mix with this compost and keep at level after to spread seeds.  

Sowing groundnut seeds

In the first step, the farmer gets ready the land with proper compost and plowing. They further make hedges soil beds or they can sow seeds in plain soil. Soil moisture should be enough for the seeds for the first 30 days.  

The second step is about the seed sowing method. Seed to seed distance depends on the type of groundnut seed.

Sometimes, the line to line distance keeps  10x10 cm, sometimes, it keeps 12x12 cm, and plant to plant distance must be 15 cm from each other. Seeds pinched 1.5 inches deep in the soil, more than deeper than that can affect the growth of groundnut plants. 

The best time to sow seeds is after treatment. The random scattering method doesn't allow in groundnut farming.  

Irrigation water

As mentioned above, groundnut crop doesn't require so much irrigation water because of moisture of soil and natural humidity. But in some cases, groundnut requires irrigation water first after getting 30 to 35 days older, when soil lost all the moisture. Then next after becoming 60 to 70 days older.

Weeding of spontaneous plants

Because of early moisture, it is obvious that spontaneous plants will appear. These groundnuts like plants absorb the moisture and important elements from the soil. Such spontaneous plants can affect the growth of groundnut crops.  
Their separation is important for the better growth of groundnuts.  
So the first weeding process starts after 25 days of sowing seeds. The next weeding is necessary after 20 days and same till harvesting of crops.

Harvesting of groundnut crop

The scale of groundnut production in Uttrakhand is not as same as in the overall plain regions of India. 
So the harvesting method is not so modern here, so generally, people harvest their groundnut crops simply by their hands.
It is simple enough, just grab the plant and pull it out directly from the roots. Or sometimes people use small tools to get the whole plant from roots. 
Later, the plant and the peanuts keep separate from each other. 

How to store groundnuts?

Before the storing of raw peanuts, it is necessary to dry their moisture, otherwise,  they will get fungal infections/diseases. 
So separated peanuts keep in tight sunlight for at least 3 to 5 days. Later, they collect in dry bags and store in moisture-free bright areas.
From now, these groundnuts can use for the next 1 year. 

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