India can double its maize production to 50 million tonnes (MT) by 2025 to meet the rising domestic demand of the crop, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said during India Maize Summit 2016 jointly organized by commodity exchange NCDEX and industry body FICCI.
In spite of the drought last year, the maize production stood at 24.17 MT in 2014-15, Singh said adding this signifies the resilience of maize cultivation against climatic variability.
About 64 per cent of the total maize production is used for poultry feed, followed by 16 per cent for human consumption, 19 per cent for industrial starch and beverage and 1 per cent for seed.
Keeping in view the recent interest of urban consumers especially in specialty corn, like sweet corn, baby corn, popcorn, etc, it is expected that demand for maize as food may rise to 2 MT by 2025, Singh said.
“By 2025, India will require 50 MT maize for domestic consumption, of which 32 MT for feed, 15 MT for industrial sector, 2 MT as food and 1 MT for seed. Thus doubling India maize production would be an opportunity and it can be achieved,” Singh said while addressing India Maize Summit 2016.
The Minister said that in order to explore maximum uses of the crop, the maize-based industry needs to be promoted in a big way and special incentives need to be given for the cultivation of baby corn, popcorn, sweet corn, multigrain flour etc.
The quality protein maize (QPM) provides nutrient security to even remote areas of the country and programmes are needed to stress emphasis on the QPM, Singh said adding that special incentives should be provided to the private companies so that they can provide improved seed to remote areas like north eastern region. Mr. Vijay Sardana, Poultry Federation of India presented the challenges faced by Indian Poultry Industry. “60 per cent of total corn production is consumed by Poultry industry and increasing in MSP for corn would negatively impact the poultry industry. The pricing policy should be reconsidered,” he stated.
Source: Economics Times