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A native of South America groundnut or peanut is one of the important oilseed in the world. Known for its ability to survive in less favorable agro-climatic conditions, peanuts have above 40% oil content. Used as edible oil in many parts of world it is also oil cake derived after extracting oil is also used as cattle feed.
Groundnut is the major oilseed crop in India accounting for 45% of oilseed area and 55% of oilseed production in the country. Groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L.) is believed to be the native of Brazil to Peru, Argentina and Ghana, from where it was introduced into Jamaica, Cuba and other West Indies islands. It was introduced into India during the first half of the sixteenth century from one of the Pacific islands of China, where it was introduced earlier from either Central America or South America. Now India along with china accounts for half of the world's groundnut production.
Global out of groundnut and groundnut oil is estimated at – million tons. Argentina, U.S and China are the leading suppliers of edible peanut in the world. India, Sudan, Nigeria, Senegal and Myanmar are also important producers of groundnut.
India is rated as the third largest producer of groundnut in the world with annual production of over 5-6 million tons. Gujarat, Andhra Prrdesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are the leading producers in the country and accounts for nearly 75% of the total output. Groundnut contributes to nearly 25% of total oil seed production in the country. Nearly 75% output occurs in June-September and the rest during November-March known as khariff and rabi seasons respectively.
Climatic conditions, especially South-West monsoon plays significant role in shaping the fortunes of groundnut in the country. Price of competing oilseeds like soybeen, palm oil, sunflower, mustard etc. influences price of groundnut and oil.