The Origin of Ghana Peanut & the Bissa People of Upper East Region (Video)

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Groundnut is a staple food crop in Ghana and is core ingredient of many local food recipes.

The Savannah zone is the major groundnut producing aggro-ecological zone in Ghana, accounting for 94 per cent of the total groundnut production.

But do you know how the staple food came to Ghana?

Take a look at the following story.

Groundnut otherwise known as peanut, yields in Ghana vary greatly, depending on variety, soil conditions, and weather.

Average yields range from 700-1,200 kilograms per hectors, with some farmers achieving up to 2,000 kilograms per hectors.

Improved varieties and better management practices can improve yields further.

The savannah is the major groundnut producing zone in Ghana.

Farmers produce groundnut as a sole crop and to some extent inter-crop with cereals.

The crop is believed to have been brought to Ghana from Guinea Bissau by the Bissa people of the Kusaug traditional area.

According to the Bissa community in the upper east region, predominantly inhabitants of Kulungungu, that accounts for the reason why they wear beads made from groundnut especially on festive occasions.

Groundnut and onion farming are a key activity among Bissa people.

A young Bissa man who desire for a suitor must exhibit his farming skills and strength at his would-be in-law’s farm before he is welcomed into the family.

It is meant for young men to prove that they can defend and provide for their wife.

The annual Zekula festival at Kulungungu is meant to showcase the history and rich culture of the Bissa people to the younger generation and the world.

The theme for this year’s Zekula festival is, promoting peaceful co-existence with neighbouring ethnic groups through culture

Over 650,000 households, representing about 74 percent of households in Northern belt of Ghana participate in groundnut production, with a total groundnut cultivated area of about 400,000 hectares.

The annual groundnut production in Northern Ghana is about 500,000 metric tons.

The current price for groundnut on the world market is 2,594 dollars per ton on the average while cocoa is selling at 3,130 dollar per ton on the average.

Ghana can rake in a lot of foreign currency from exporting groundnut but the country is not taking advantage of its potential. 

By Peter Quao Adattor

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