Binge on it as your favorite munchie, go tipsy over its perfection as the best chakna or just enjoy its addictive crunch and uniquely nutty flavor and you would know just why something as humble as the groundnut begets so much love the world over. Extremely nutritious as well, groundnuts or peanuts are one of the most versatile of nuts, even when it is actually a legume in pure botanical lingo. Whether you have them dry roasted, either plain or salted or put it in your pulaos and sabjis or add them in your cookies for the very exquisite taste or even infuse entire cakes with its deliciousness, these tiny red kernels are an addictive treat in themselves. Not to forget just how amazing they taste in jars of peanut butter that we finish off in not time!
With such veteran love that these humble groundnuts command, it is no wonder that India is one of the largest producers as well as consumers of it in the entire world. Of immense importance therefore in the agricultural scenario of the country, groundnuts count as one of the important protein crops in the country grown mostly grown under rain-fed conditions. Whether it be grown for consumption as it is or to extract oil out of it, groundnut is produced across India under different zones. With six zones to be precise, namely the north zone, central zone, western zone, south eastern zone, peninsular zone and southern zone, many of the states in India are involved in groundnut cultivation as among its largest producer.
Catering to domestic needs as well as export demand, Indian groundnuts enjoy global popularity. A category of Indian Hand Picked Select (HPS) peanuts even have a strong demand in Southeast Asia and countries neighbouring India that which stems from a number of its peanut growing states. Here’s listing the largest producer of groundnuts in India that are feeding the world’s gargantuan appetite for them red nuts-
The largest producer of groundnut in India happens to be the western state of Gujarat that which also is among the top agricultural states of the country. Accounting for more than 40% of the total Indian produce, Gujarat generally engages in the production of groundnut as a kharif crop across most of its areas. With Jamnagar, Gir, Amreli, Bhavnagar, Junagadh, Rajkot, Sabarkantha and Porbandar as the major regions where the crop is cultivated, the state engages in extensive production of groundnuts during the summer months from June to September every year. However it is the region of Saurashtra in the state that is the most important region for groundnut production in India. Gujarat however is not just the state that yields the largest quantity of groundnuts in India, it also produces most of India’s best quality groundnuts.
With several of its regions including the Krishna-Godavari delta region, Anantapur, Kurnool, Chittoor, Cuddapah, Warangal, Nalgonda, Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam and Mahaboobnagar districts involved in the production of groundnut, Andhra Pradesh is another of the largest producer of the crop in India. Grown as a rabi crop here which means that production is concentrated along the winter months from October to March, Andhra Pradesh however also grows a summer variant of groundnuts. With the second largest area under production in the country, Andhra Pradesh is the third largest producer of groundnut in India.
The leader in the scenario of groundnut production in India as far as productivity is concerned is the southern state of Tamil Nadu, known also for its coffee production. Within the state, the districts of Thiruvannamalai, Villupuram, Vellore, Namakkal, Salem and Erode are the major areas where groundnut is cultivated as a rabi crop as well as a summer crop. The groundnuts cultivated throughout Tamil Nadu also manifest itself in five different varieties even as a newer hybrid variety has been recently introduced in the state.
The state of Rajasthan has been emerging as another of the largest producer as far as groundnut output of India is concerned. Grown as a kharif crop in areas that include Jaipur, Kota, Dungarpur, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Nagaur, Banswara and to a lesser degree in Chittor, Tonk and Sawai-Madhopur, Rajasthan is one of the major groundnut producing states of the country. With specific varieties earmarked for cultivation in its different regions of sandy soils and heavy soils, Rajasthan has also been seeing an increase in its groundnut harvest over the past few years.
One among the more developed Indian states and another southern land of the country that is conducive to the production of groundnuts is Karnataka. The districts of Chitradurga, Gulbarga, Bijapur, Dharwad and Tumkur in the state are the most prominent producers of this crop that which is cultivated as both a rabi and summer variant. With its special variant of soil as well, that which is a sand mixed, moisture laden red soil, the many regions of Karnataka has managed to hold its own as being among the largest producer of groundnut in India over the years even when the overall yield has been dwindling throughout.
Even the variants cultivated have seen a change. The Netti variety is preferred over the creeper, unlike times in the past when both were cultivated. With significant shifts in cultivation methods though, Karnataka still is amongst the top five Indian states that have been regularly churning out a good yield of groundnuts.
Among the major groundnut growing regions in India, the state of Madhya Pradesh seems to have been significantly affected by the takeover of soybeans as the more important crop for some decades now. Nevertheless, the central Indian state still continues to be among the largest producer of groundnut even when its share to the total yield of India has been declining consistently over the years. In fact, a particular ‘Jyoti’ variety of the crop is particularly conducive of being grown under the agricultural conditions of Madhya Pradesh. Balaghat, Bhopal, Chhatarpur, Hoshangabad, Panna, Rewa, Shivpuri and Tikamgarh are the major areas where groundnut continues to be cultivated within the confines of the state.
The state of Maharashtra harbours such climatic conditions and topography that which enable it to cultivate a number of variants of groundnut particularly as a summer crop. Within the state, it is the regions of Kolhapur, Khandesh, Vidharba, parts of Marathawada, Osmanabad, Bhid, parts of Sangli and Satara where groundnut production is most prominent. The cultivation of groundnut as a kharif crop is also quite a notable feature of the agricultural scene of Maharashtra even as the crop sees sowing in also two other seasons.
Groundnut cultivation in West Bengal might only be a recent phenomenon as compared to the other Indian states but it still is a market leader as far as production is concerned. The Paschim Medinipur district leads the state in its path to being the largest groundnut producer in India followed by the regions of Hugli, Puruliya, Haora, and Murshidabad. Grown also in all the three seasons as kharif, rabi as well as a spring and summer crop, groundnuts have evolved to be a major crop dominating the agricultural patterns of West Bengal.
Among the top five states when it comes to groundnut productivity in India, Uttar Pradesh mainly engages in the cultivation of the crop across the regions of Farrukhabad, Mainpuri, Hardoi and Aligarh. In fact as one of the few groundnut producing Indian states that has been showing an increasing trend in its cultivation, Uttar Pradesh is surely but steadily growing to be among the largest producer within the country.
With a climate that is particularly conducive to the production of groundnuts, Odisha is another of the top Indian states engaged in the cultivation of the crop. Groundnut productivity in the state has been one of the highest in India, even higher than the national average. In fact in the eastern groundnut producing zone of the country, Odisha is the only state that is a traditional area earmarked for its cultivation. Kendrapada, Cuttuck, Puri, Angal, Baraghar, Jajpur, Bolangir, Dhenkanal, Jagatsinpur, Kalahandi are the major groundnut growing regions of the state.
A major crop grown in Telangana, groundnut is mainly cultivated in its areas of Gadwal, Warangal, Wanaparthy, Suryapet and Nalgonda. Mahabubnagar and Rangareddy districts also witnesses considerable production of groundnuts within the state.
As one of its main kharif crop, Haryana’s groundnut cultivation has made it one of its largest producer in India. Fatehabad, Sirsa, Hisar, Bhiwani and Jhajjar are the major districts in the state where groundnut is produced as the major kharif oilseed crop.