Haiti Reconstruction

Rebuilding Haiti must start from the ground up, with agricultural education

Grow and save more peanuts

 

Peanuts, (pistach in Creole) also known as groundnuts (Arachis hypogaea) are a major crop in Haiti and an important source of protein. There is a lot of potential to increase peanut production and reduce storage losses.

 

Haiti Peanut Project Report

"To most quickly improve production, it was determined that priorities should be in the areas of variety improvement and the use of an inoculant in peanut production."

"The Viruguard and Southern Runner varieties yielded the highest crop and use of these varieties has increased peanut production by farmers associated with APV by more than 40 percent. Additionally, the volunteers carried out 22 soil tests. Statistical analysis of these tests revealed that certain nutrients were correlated with high yield (calcium, phosphorous, zinc) and other nutrients were correlated with low yields (copper, manganese, magnesium, high levels of potassium)."

INOCULANTS

Many legumes form symbiotic relationships with Rhizobium bacteria. These bacteria take nitrogen out of the air and make it available to the plant as nitrogen fertilizer.  Inoculants contain Rhizobium specifically selected for one or several legume species. They generally come in powder form. They are normally mixed with seed that has been slightly moistened with sugar water (or dlo kann) immediately before planting. Packets have a limited life and should be kept cool and out of direct sunlight.
 Adequate levels of phosphorus (as well as the trace elements molybdenum and cobalt) are necessary for the nitrogen fixation process by Rhizobium.

for more information see:

LEGUME INOCULANTS AND THEIR USE

Peanut inoculant sources include:

http://www.groworganic.com/cowpea-peanut-and-lespedeza-inoculant-1.html

http://abseed.com/inoculants.php

http://www.7springsfarm.com/catalog.html

Peanut inoculant should be available in farm stores in southern states where peanuts are grown.

 

AFLATOXIN

"Peanuts are particularly susceptible to contamination during growth and
storage. Poor storage of peanuts can lead to an infection by the mold fungus Aspergillus flavus, releasing the toxic and highly carcinogenic substance aflatoxin.
 The aflatoxin-producing molds exist throughout the peanut growing areas
 and may produce aflatoxin in peanuts when conditions are favorable to
fungal growth."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peanut

 

"Contamination conditions


Aflatoxin-producing members of Aspergillus are common and widespread in nature. They can colonize and contaminate grain before harvest or during storage. Host crops are particularly susceptible to infection by Aspergillus following prolonged exposure to a high-humidity environment, or damage from stressful conditions such as drought, a condition that lowers the barrier to entry.

The native habitat of Aspergillus is in soil, decaying vegetation, hay, and grains undergoing microbiological deterioration, and it invades all types of organic substrates whenever conditions are favorable for its growth. Favorable conditions include high moisture content (at least 7%) and high temperature."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aflatoxin

 

Proper drying and clean dry storage conditions are helpful in controlling aflatoxin production.  Propionic acid (also used to control mold in hay) and AflaGard, a strain of Aspergillus that does not produce aflatoxin, can be used to reduce aflatoxin production, but neither is practical in Haiti.

There is an excellent article on aflatoxins in ECHO Development Notes #87

 

SHELLING

Peanuts can be easily shelled with the Universal Nut Sheller made from mostly concrete with some metal parts. Dry peanut shells can be used as fuel in TLUD stoves. They are light but burn well and produce a good biochar. I recently used a gallon of peanut shells in a gasifier stove. It boiled a quart (.95 liters) of water in 12 minutes, and the flames lasted 30 minutes.

 

PEANUT BUTTER

As in the US, peanut butter is popular in Haiti, where it is known as mamba. It is a primary component in the malnutrition treatment food known as Medika Mamba.

Peanuts are roasted before grinding into peanut butter. This can be done with a solar roaster.

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