Peanut was introduced into Taiwan between 1500 and 1600 AD as a food crop for oil extraction and food processing, etc. It was mainly cultivated in Yuin-lin (75%), Chang-hua (14%) and Chia-yi counties (2.4%). The cultivation area reached 103,000 plus ha/yr in 1957, then, decreased slowly year by year. Now, the cultivation area is kept stably at 20,000~23,000 ha/year.
The total dry pod yield/yr is 51,000~70,000 tons. Early in Taiwan, the entire peanut cultivation process from sowing to harvest was highly dependent on labor, especially on sowing and harvesting. Due to the surge of labor cost, machines gradually replaced labor. From sowing to harvesting and drying can be completely mechanized now. The harvesting efficiency increased 20 to 25 times.
The early peanut varieties in Taiwan were used for cooking oil extraction such as Tainan selected No. 9. With diet behavior change, the breeding purpose was changed to large pod varieties such as Tainan No. 14, for roasting and fresh consumption. Recently, new objectives are focused on good characteristics for table use, such as good flavor, large seeds with smooth shells, high content of anthocyanin and high oleic acid.