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close this bookBetter Farming Series 17 - Groundnuts (FAO - INADES, 1977, 40 p.)
close this folderChoosing seeds
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentHow to choose good seeds
View the documentDisinfecting seeds
View the documentUsing selected seeds
View the documentHow to know whether seeds are good


The seeds (the nuts you sow) must be good, disinfected, and from selected varieties.

How to choose good seeds

6. When you separate the seeds from the pods, that is when you shell the nuts, throw away any seeds spoiled by insects or disease, and any misshapen seeds.

A misshapen seed will not grow well.

If the germ of a seed has been eaten by an insect, the seed will not germinate.

Shell the nuts only a few days before sowing, otherwise the seeds will be dry. Seeds must not be dry before you sow them.

Disinfecting seeds

7. Mix the disinfectant thoroughly with the seeds, so that it covers them all. Disinfectant protects seeds against moulds and insects.

The disinfectant is sold by the extension services. It is usual to mix one small tomato tin full of disinfectant with 1 cask full of shelled nuts - this means mixing 2 grammes of disinfectant for use with 1 kilogramme of seeds.

8. Disinfectant is polsonous.

Be very careful in using it Wash your hands well after touching disinfectant. Never give disinfected seeds to animals. Never leave disinfectant where children can get at it.

9. Disinfected seeds are not eaten by insects.

Disinfected seeds do not rot.

All the seeds will grow, there will be very few plants missing.

Disinfection makes for good density, and so the yield is better.

Device for disinfecting seeds

Using selected seeds

10. It is not enough to choose good seeds and to disinfect them.

If you want a very good harvest, you must also use seeds from selected varieties.

Ask the extension services for selected seeds, for the best varieties.

Seeds from selected varieties produce better groundnuts:

- groundouts that contain more protein, and are there fore more nourishing;

- groundnuts that contain more oil, and are therefore better for the oil mills.

Selected varieties resist disease better.

In the humid regions, for example, certain varieties are resistant to rosette.

Selected varieties are more adaptable to climate. Some varieties ripen in 3 months; others in 5 months.

11. If the rainy season is long, it is best to sow groundnuts that ripen in 5 months, long- season groundnuts. If the rainy season is short, it is best to sow groundnuts that ripen in 3 months, short- season groundouts.

In places where there are two rainy seasons, it is possible to grow two crops a year - for instance, a groundnut crop first and then a cotton crop. (See diagram on following page.)

Is possible to grow two crops a year

How to know whether seeds are good

Make an experiment before sowing.

12. Put 100 seeds into damp sand. To keep the sand damp, cover it with a wet cloth or wet straw.

After 6 days, the seeds have germinated.

- Count how many seeds have germinated.

If 90 seeds have germinated, the seeds are good. The germination rate is 90 out of 100 (90 percent). This is a good germination rate.

If 40 seeds have germinated, the seeds are less good. The germination rate is 40 out of 100 (40 percent). This is a poor germination rate.

In making this experiment you have made a germination test.

13. For a field of good density, you must sow seeds which will give you more than 85 percent of plants (85 plants growing for every 100 seeds you sow). These seeds have a good germination rate.

If you have worked your field well and if it rains at the right moment, there will be few plants missing.