India requires a quantum jump in Maize production to meet future demand

India requires to increase maize production by 10 million tonnes (mt) over the next five years amid growing demand for ethanol production and to meet demand from the poultry and animal industry, Agriculture Secretary Manoj Ahuja said while addressing 9th India Maize Summit.

Maize is the 3rd highest crop in India after rice & wheat; its production in 2022-23 (July-June) is estimated at 34.6 mt, against 33.7 mt last year. Agriculture Secretary stressed the need to cut down the losses in the entire value chain of maize in a systematic manner.

“There is a huge potential to harness in the maize value chain. Making better seed availability, providing storage and marketing linkages, and public and private partnerships, among others, should be focused on amid the growing threat of climate change, Ahuja said.

The government is also keen to work in partnership with the government and private sector and come up with a Center of Excellence for mechanization.

Addressing the event, Maharashtra agriculture minister Abdul Sattar said the state government is ready to support the private players who are keen to invest in the value chain of maize, especially ethanol, in the state. This would empower farmers.

He also urged private companies to set up warehouses in Maharashtra. This would help maize growers hold their produce and sell it later when prices are better.