Improved groundnut varieties that are high-yielding, disease-resistant and farmer as well as market preferred will be promoted on a large scale to enhance the production and productivity of the crop in Ghana and Nigeria.

“In Nigeria groundnut is considered as cash, food, fodder and industrial crop,” said Dr Hakeem Ajeigbe, ICRISAT Country Representative, Nigeria, as he gave an overview of the sector to participants of the planning workshop.

The West and Central Africa (WCA) region accounts for more than 70% of the groundnut production in Africa. Ghana, Mali and Nigeria are among the main groundnut producing countries in the region. The crop also plays a crucial economic role in the lives of smallholder farmers as it is a major cash crop.

Recently separate planning workshops for Ghana and Nigeria were held under the ‘Increasing Groundnut Productivity of Smallholder Farmers in Ghana, Mali and Nigeria’ project in Accra, Ghana.

“The goal of the project is to increase groundnut productivity and production of smallholder farmers in Ghana, Mali and Nigeria, thereby improve their income, nutrition and health,” said Dr Hailemichael Desmae, Groundnut Breeder, ICRISAT, and Leader of the project.

With financial support from the USAID Feed the Future, the first year work plan is being developed for a Technology Dissemination Scale-up initiative in three countries (Mali, Nigeria and Ghana). The project is aimed at enhancing the technology dissemination efforts by reaching more smallholder farmers with large-scale diffusion strategies for larger impacts mainly in USAID Feed the Future target areas.

Diffusion of technologies for aflatoxin management will be an important focus of the project activities and enhanced seed system will be critical for the success of the technology diffusion efforts.

The project stakeholders also recognized the importance of engaging women and youth in the project activities and to sustainably increase the role of groundnut in reducing poverty, increasing incomes and enhancing nutrition.

Capacity building at various levels will be important focus to enhance sustainability of the project gains. The participants also suggested that additional households be reached through various means including on-farm demonstration, field days, radio, video and other media campaigns. The outcomes of the project will contribute to the achievement of the two Feed the Future goals: ‘Reduce the prevalence of poverty and Reduce the prevalence of stunting in children under 5 years old’ in the target areas. The project will focus on three important areas: diffusion of improved varieties with Integrated Crop Management (ICM), improved seed systems and capacity building. In partnership with national research institutes, government extension offices, NGOs, private sector and community based organizations in the target areas, ICRISAT will implement project activities using the organizational structure and implementation networks of each partner on the ground.

Source: ICRISAT Happenings