There is an urgent need to develop and deploy groundnut varieties to suit the needs of the confectionery and food industry. Developing varieties with market-preferred traits will enable enhanced livelihoods and profits to stakeholders of the groundnut value chain.

The panel discussion at the Industries Interface Meeting of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) brought out important issues requiring research inputs. Besides aflatoxin contamination, other quality aspects such as uniform size of kernel, blanchability, long shelf-life, high oleate and absence of sprouting are considered important quality considerations by the industry.

Varietal mixtures is another major challenge faced by the industry. The panel noted that public-private partnerships and contract farming may be explored to achieve quality seed supply. The panel also observed that the outputs of the interface meeting will be useful for research prioritization and appreciated ICAR for its support to host Industry Days for commodities.

Dr P Janila, Senior Scientist – Groundnut Breeding, ICRISAT in her presentation on ‘Groundnut varieties for confectionery uses’, informed the group about new varieties from ICRISAT for food uses, confections and enhanced nutritional quality. The high oleate groundnut lines developed recently in partnership with Indian NARS were of interest to the industry.

Agricultural Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) of Government of India has taken measures to monitor aflatoxin contamination of consignments through its peanut.net (http://www.apeda.gov.in/apedawebsite/GroundNut/GroundNut.htm) and the Indian Oilseeds and Products Export Promotion Council (IOPEPC) is supporting quality monitoring.

India produced 9.47 million tons of groundnut pods in 2013, of which 0.5 million tons of kernels were exported. The aflatoxin and quality monitoring systems of APEDA and IOPEPC helped India promote export of groundnuts.

The aim of the meeting was to deliberate research and policy issues concerning groundnut markets and was a platform to bring together diverse actors that included groundnut exporters, processing and seed industries, export promotion councils, and groundnut researchers.

The meeting was hosted by Directorate of Groundnut Research at Junagadh, India.

Source: ICRISAT Happenings