Peanut (anachis hypogea L.), locally known as “mani”, is a protein-rich and oil-laden legume. It is one of the oldest crop grown in the Philippines, but it has remained as a corn intercrop and has not gained prominence as a cash crop. It helps reduce risk of heart disease and cancer. Peanut contains high quality protein (25-30%) and oil (46-50%) protein content of 1 kg. Peanut is equivalent to that of a kilogram of pork and exceeds that of an egg, and meat from fowl and beef.
Peanut is ideal as a food ingredient because of its aroma, flavor, crunchy texture, and high energy value. It requires less nitrogen fertilizer because of its nitrogen-fixing nodules.
About 95% of the peanut areas are planted with the low yielding “native” Spanish-type variety. The Philippine seed board recommended the CES-10 and BPI-E.B. which yield as high as 2.0-2.5 MT of shelled peanuts per hectare. These varieties contain 24-26% protein and 42-46% oil.
Peanut is principally consumed in boiled and roasted forms. It is also used as confectionary products such as jams and desserts. Products prepared from peanut are flour, protein isolate, cheese, paste for shortening and defatted meal for snack foods. The seed coat is a source of commercial tannin and thiamine.
Of the total peanut production in the country, about 92% are consumed as food, 0.5% are used as seeds and 7.5% for non-food uses (1998).
Most farmers of Western Visayas devote a small area of 0.12-0.50 hectare to peanut production. Available varieties are the native and miracle variety. Peanuts are ready for harvest 100-110 days after planting. When mature, peanut beans exhibit a pinkish seed coat, which turn pale brown upon drying.
Harvesting is done by pulling the entire plant. Fresh pods are either solid immediately upon harvest or sun dried. It takes about 3-5 days of continuous sun–drying to completely dry the peanut are reduce the moisture content to 12-14%.
Peanuts are traded in only two forms, shelled (well-dried with plump and fresh-looking nuts) and unshelled (dried and cleaned, with well-develop pods), packed in sacks weighing 25-30 kgs. The minimum transaction volume is one-half sack.
Wholesalers are the primary buyers of both shelled and unshelled peanuts. Shelled peanuts are bought by sidewalk vendors and sold as deep-fried or roasted peanuts and “bandi” (or peanut candy). Other peanut peddlers, buy unshelled peanuts for boiling.
Retailers sell both shelled and unshelled peanuts and display them in wooden boxes or in “kalalaw” bamboo trays, inside retail local markets without price and name tags. Ganta, equivalent to 2.25 kgs, serves as a unit of measurement in some retail markets. The minimum transaction volume for most markets is 1 kg.
Peak production months are from January to March and August to October coinciding with rice and corn harvests planted during the 2nd and 3rd cropping season, respectively. Peanut supply is normally low from April to July and November to December. Consumers revert to buying corn in cobs, a heavy favorite among ilonggo consumers, particularly from April to May.
Bulk of the farmer’s produce are sold in the farm, farmstead, roadside or buyer’s place of business. The remainder is used as seeds for the next cropping season. Traders usually function as middleman.