Groundnut in the Philippines is used mainly as food and in confections including peanut butter. ICRISAT’s collaboration with the Philippines in groundnut research and development dates back to the early 1980s under the aegis of the Asian Grain Legumes Network (AGLN, since then evolved to CLAN -- Cereals and Legumes Asia Network). Linkages were further strengthened when the Department of Agriculture – Cagayan Valley Integrated Agricultural Research Center, (DA-CVIARC) Region 02, Ilagan, Isabela began to promote its groundnut improvement program. Initial breeding material was provided by ICRISAT. Testing, evaluation and approval of NSIC Pn 11 or Namnama 1 (ICGV 90320) as a national variety in the Philippines in 2002 was the major achievement of this collaboration. In 2005, through a project of the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), Asha (ICGV 86564), a large-seeded confectionery variety, was introduced in the region.
Asha was evaluated along with commercially grown groundnut varieties in Region 02. The on-station trials were conducted during two wet (June- November) and two dry (Jan- May) seasons. During both 2005 and 2006 wet seasons, Asha gave the highest yield of 3.0 t ha-1 compared with 2.1 and 2.2 t ha-1, respectively, of the local check NSIC Pn 11. During the 2006 dry season, Asha outyielded local checks, NSIC Pn 11 and NSIC Pn 12 by 2.4% and 40%, respectively, and in the 2007 dry season, it outyielded NSIC Pn 11 by approximately 35%.
In the on-farm trials also, Asha maintained its superiority over local farmer grown varieties. In the 2006 wet season, the data obtained from a farmers field (Brgy. Arubub, Jones, Isabela) clearly indicated that Asha was the best (pod yield of 3.5 t ha-1) compared to two local varieties. In Basi, Solana, Cagayan, Asha variety (3.4 t ha-1) outyielded local checks.
Farmers appreciated this variety as it was planted in clay loam soil, where in the previous season, rice was grown in that field. In Mabuhay, Echague, Isabela, Asha variety gave a pod yield of 3.1 t ha-1, out yielding the popularly grown variety. Because of its stable high yield, Asha has a potential for fast-track adoption in both soil conditions. Scientists at DA-CVIARC have distributed 11.0 t of high quality seeds to 92 farmer–beneficiaries (FBs) to spread this variety in the Cagayan Valley. This project is an effective strategy to improve peanut farmers’ productivity and profitability and to expand groundnut production in the Cagayan valley region.