Together with our partners from Kernile, Africa’s largest peanut processing enterprise, who were visiting us in Senegal, we toured the country’s “bassin arachidier” – French for “peanut basin”. Centered around the local economic hub of Kaolack, this region is center of the country’s groundnut cultivation, totalling over 1 million metric tons of peanuts in most seasons.
Kaolack itself as a city comprises of a central marketing and trading point, where production from multitudes of small farmers and agricultural cooperatives is aggregated and sold, both for local consumption in Senegal and for exports.
We visited the region’s representatives at the local Chamber of Commerce in Kaolack, one of the country’s largest outside the capital. There, our hosts showed us the different varieties of peanuts cultivated in Senegal’s peanut basin, both for current large-scale cultivation and proposed varieties developed by the country’s principal agricultural research institute, ISRA.