PEANUT, whose scientific name is Arachis hypogaea L., is a popular food crop in the Philippines, particularly in Cagayan Valley or Region 2.
Widely consumed as boiled-in-shell peanuts and salted fried peanuts, processed as peanut butter, and used as ingredient in the manufacture of confectioneries, the food crop has excellent nutritional value. It is also inexpensive and is a high-energy food for both humans and livestock.
Besides being an excellent food source with 25- percent protein and 45-percent oil, peanut is an income-generating crop to farmers in the Cagayan Valley region, and is one of the major field legumes grown in the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Isabela and Cagayan, and Santiago City.
According to the Department of Agriculture (DA), peanut production is an emerging industry in Cagayan Valley but production is still low compared to the huge demand for the crop.
In fact, the DA said the country is importing large quantities of peanut, of which 80 percent come from China that is one of the biggest producers of the crop in the world.
Thus, an amount of almost P15 million for a peanut project was approved by the DA under the Philippine Rural Development Project-Regional Project Coordination Office through the Regional Project Advisory Board (RPAB) in the region.
According to RPAB, the amount for the start-up project will go to Peanut Production and Marketing Enterprise as Investment in Rural Enterprise and Agriculture (I-REAP) sub-project, with the Buenavista Multi-Purpose Cooperative based in Santiago City as proponent.
An upland crop
In Santiago City, peanut is primarily grown as a cash crop in corn-based upland areas. There are about 134 peanut farmers currently growing peanut and this can increase to 279. Out of the 134 farmers growing peanut, 98 of them are members of the proponent group.
The components of project are provision of seeds to farmer-members, procurement of production and post-production equipment, provision of working capital, procurement of marketing facilities, and construction of warehouse as consolidation and processing center.
Vivien delos Santos, I-REAP component head, said the enterprise will be offering two products which are shelled and unshelled peanut, and that “income will be derived from selling and the price mark-up per kilo through direct marketing and forging marketing agreements with the target market.”
Delos Santos said the project will increase employment from five to 16 regular cooperative employees by 2018, as well as increase income of target beneficiaries involved in the enterprise from P1,595.50 to P10,653.66 per hectare by the end of 2018.
“We are looking at an increase in net surplus of the cooperative from P624,332.88 to P8,218,536.33 in year one and up to P16,439,895.33 in year 10,” she added.
She said the enterprise also expects to increase the marketed output from 3.8 metric tons in 2016 to 424.5 MT in year one and higher onward from the increase in areas planted and yield per hectare.
Meanwhile, Santiago City has two farm-to-market roads amounting to more than P211.4 million covering 18.41 kilometers under the proposed Intensified Build-Up of Infrastructure and Logistics sub-project.
The sub-projects that are now under review of the National Project Coordination Office can directly support the operation of the peanut project.
Based on the report of Project Support Office-Luzon A, Santiago City is the only city in Luzon Cluster A and among the only eight cities in the country with an approved City Commodity Investment Plan.