Q.1 Sir, could you please tell our readers about the scope of groundnut processing in the emerging food processing market?

In Groundnut, up to 35% of post-harvest losses are reported. This includes losses during processing, damage by insects/pests during storage, and degradation of quality. At the primary processing (de-shelling) stage, 7-14% losses are reported which may go up to 30%. In the case of oil harvest during secondary processing of de-shelled groundnut, the losses are around 38-52% depending upon the kind of oil extraction units. The other by-products of groundnut are Sludge and De-oiled cake. For 1000 kg groundnut pressing, 420 kg of groundnut cake, 40 kg of sludge, and 450 kg of oil are harvested. The De-oiled cake also has marketable value and sells at the rate of Rs.2000 per quintal. Groundnut shell is marketed at the rate of Rs.300 per quintal. Groundnut processing can reduce these losses that occur during various post-harvest processing stages and result in increased earnings of the stakeholders. During storage and processing, Aflatoxin contamination is a major challenge in groundnut, especially during exporting the product. This is a major area of concern for groundnut processors and exporters. This can be overcome by adopting proper post-harvest handling like harvesting of the crop at the precise maturity stage, avoiding crop exposure to drought during the maturity stage, avoiding mixing of immature and soiled pods for good lots, and proper drying of the produce (moisture content must be less than 8%), etc.

Q.2 Could you please tell us about the support and facilities provided by the ICAR - Directorate of Groundnut Research to micro food processing enterprises?

ICAR - Directorate of Groundnut Research, through its basic and applied research, supports all the stakeholders with the technical know-how and collaboration for reducing post-harvest losses in every possible case.

Q.3 What are the major value-added products that can be made using groundnuts?

Groundnut Kernel: Generally, large uniform size grains are used for direct consumption. Medium-sized groundnuts are used as food additives or for preparing snacks. It is the small and damaged nuts that find their way into crushing for oil. Different products made with groundnut kernels like Peanut Butter, Peanut Oil, Peanut Cake, Groundnut Chikki, Roasted Groundnut, Groundnut Milk, Groundnut Bar Chocolate, Chutney, Khari Sing (Salted and Roasted Groundnut), Laddu, Barfi, etc.

Groundnut Shell: It is used as a fuel, filler in cattle and poultry feed, used as raw material for manufacturing hard particle boards, cork substitutes, activated carbon, etc.

Groundnut Straw: Mainly used as animal feed, fuel, and in preparation of compost.

Q.4 Could you please tell us about the groundnut-based research and development carried out at ICAR – Directorate of Groundnut Research and interesting research outcomes that you have come across in all these years?

We have released 238 varieties from DGR and AICRP on groundnut. Groundnut production in the country increased by 3-fold (3.48 MT in 1950-51 to 10.10 MT in 2019-20). Groundnut productivity increased by 3-fold (775 kg/ha in 1950-51; 2065 kg/ha in 2019-20). The export value for groundnut increased from Rs.1425 crores in 2010 to Rs.5096 crores in 2020. Groundnut oil seed availability increased by 80 MT in 2005 to 91 MT in 2020. Groundnut oil availability increased from 18 MT in 2005 to 28 MT in 2020. We have conducted 12000 Front Line Demonstrations in the last two decades and an average of 2150 kg/ha yield was achieved with improved technologies. 15 Zn-rich (above 40 mg Zn/kg seed) and 9 Fe-rich (above 50 mg Fe/kg seed) varieties are under cultivation for tackling malnutrition. We have released two high oleic acid (>80%) varieties (Girnar-4 and Girnar-5) which help in reducing cholesterol in serum and cardiovascular diseases. The seed replacement ratio has improved from 1:8 to 1:16. The average demand for breeder seeds of the varieties released in the last 10 years has grown by 26%. Around 200 production technologies (bio-fertilizers, production, and protection) have been disseminated to the groundnut farming community in the last two decades to achieve self-sufficiency. 8810q of groundnut breeder seeds were supplied to stakeholders during 2019-2020.

Q.5 With the immense experience that you have gathered over the period in the food processing sector, how do you think the PMFME Scheme would be able to empower micro food processing enterprises?

The PMFME Scheme would immensely benefit the micro food processing sector of the country. Launched under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, the PMFME Scheme is a centrally sponsored scheme that aims to enhance the competitiveness of existing individual micro-enterprises in the unorganized segment of the food processing industry and to promote formalization of the sector and provide support to Farmer Producer Organizations, Self Help Groups, and Producers Cooperatives along their entire value chain. With an outlay of Rs. 10,000 crore over a period of five years from 2020-21 to 2024-25, the scheme envisions to directly assist the 2,00,000 micro food processing units for providing financial, technical, and business support for up-gradation of existing micro food processing enterprises.

ICAR-DGR has already identified higher groundnut productivity districts where capital investment and value chain linked up-gradation can be taken up with the support of FPOs and SHGs, which will highly boost the income of the farmers associated with groundnut farming. Overall, the PMFME Scheme would help in increasing mechanization in cultivation, reducing the cost of cultivation, harvesting more, enhancing the quality of the processed products, and generating better returns for the farmers by innovation at all levels of production systems.

Q.6 What would be your advice to aspiring food processing entrepreneurs?

Existing food processing industries/entrepreneurs must upgrade and upscale their facilities and their technical know-how (capacity building) as per market demand. They must explore more and more options for new avenues commensurate with available technology and funding for attracting more young entrepreneurs at the farm level.

About Director, ICAR – Directorate of Groundnut Research

Dr. Sandip Kumar Bera, Director (Acting) did his Master's from Calcutta University and Ph.D. from Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Mohonpur. Dr. Bera joined ICAR-Directorate of Groundnut Research, Junagadh on 04/07/1995 and currently holds the post of Director. He has more than 26 years of experience in groundnut research. He has served in different capacities and developed more than 600 interspecific breeding lines as well as registered novel breeding lines. He has developed the first-ever two high oleic acid (>80%) groundnut varieties, Girnar-4 and Girnar-5 in India. He has guided 10 M.Sc. and Ph.D. students and published more than 150 papers in National and International journals and conferences.

About ICAR – Directorate of Groundnut Research

The ICAR-Directorate of Groundnut Research (formerly known as the National Research Center for Groundnut) came into being on 1st October, 1979 at Junagadh with the generosity of the then Gujarat Agricultural University (GAU). In order to expand its infrastructure, the NRCG, in 1986 acquired another 100 ha land from the Junagadh campus of the then GAU. The construction of a new laboratory-cum-office building was completed in the third quarter of 1991 and since then the infrastructure of the centre has been continuously growing. While communicating the approval of the XIth five-year plan, the Govt. of India/ICAR has re-designated the NRCG (DGR) as the Directorate of Groundnut Research.


  • Basic, strategic and adaptive research on groundnut to improve productivity and quality
  • Provide access to information, knowledge, and genetic material to develop suitable varieties and technologies
  • Coordination of applied research to develop location-specific varieties and technologies
  • Dissemination of technology and capacity building


Enhancing efficiency of groundnut based production system on a sustainable basis through appropriate cropping system, value addition and diversification of products so that the groundnut system as a whole becomes sustainable, remunerative and globally competitive.


Enhancing groundnut productivity of India to 3000 kg/ha for rainfed and to 4000 kg/ha for irrigated crops through a blend of basic and strategic multidisciplinary research.

(Content shared by ICAR - Directorate of Groundnut Research)

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed are those of the above guest and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries.