|Description | Overview |
History | Cultivation pattern | Maize
countries | Indian maize market |
Major trading centers | Contract
Maize is a type of cereal grain. In countries like United States,
Australia and Canada, it is known as corn. It has a nutritional
value for both animals and humans. The word maize means “ one
that sustains life” and also an indian legend says that maize
was the food of the gods that created the earth. It was first
adopted and cultivated by the Latin American countries around 7000
years ago. Hybrid maize is one the variety of maize which
generally have a high yield level and that is why it is most
favored by the farmers. Another varieties of Maize are Sweet
corn, Dent corn, Flint corn, Popcorn, Flour corn, Sweet corn and
Maize is the most important crop in the world after wheat and
rice. It has continued to be the leading crop in terms of
production and area of land on which it has been produced during
the last decade. It is as much a significant crop in the American
countries like rice and wheat in Asia. Maize has a wide variety of
usage too. It is used as a feed and in the production of
alcoholic beverages and of food sweeteners, starch, oil and proteins.
Recently, it has been discovered that maize or corn can also be
used in the production of fuel. United states of America is a
major corn producing country. The states in US like Iowa,
Illinois, Nebraska, Minnesota and Indiana contributes to over 80%
of the total production in US. The production of maize was 614.3
million tons in 2003 and was still rising in the later years.
Consumption of corns is also on an increasing level. It is
basically consumed for three uses – as food, as feed for animals
and as raw material for industry. USA and China are the major
maize consuming countries.
is the largest corn producing country, it is also the largest
exporter of maize to the rest of the world. Argentina and Brazil
comes on the 2nd and 3rd place. On the other hand, the major share
of maize imports is constituted by: -
Maize has a very long and interesting history
behind it. There are many stories and legends
relating to the origin of corn in different
cultures. Maize is considered to be a human
invention, as naturally this plant cannot exist.
It is believed that the people in Mexico
developed this cereal from a wild grass known as
‘Teosinte’ around 7000 years ago.
Maize then got popular and spread in whole of
the South America and some parts of North
America. Even before Columbus discovered
America, maize had already became a major
constituent in the food of the native people.
When he discovered America, maize spread to the
world and got popular everywhere.
Maize is the only crop which has got the highest weight of production even
as compared to rice and wheat. The planting of
the maize crop is done in the spring season so
that it could get the benefit of the rains in
this season. Rains for this crop, are very
important as maize is very sensitive to drought.
This crop is generally cultivated in a two or
three crop rotation. The cultivation of maize
involves the following steps:-
– Planting of the crop is when the crop is planted.
The planting of maize is generally done in
mid of April to mid of May.
– Silking is the most crucial stage in the
crop cultivation. It means pollination of
– When the maize crop starts to show a
thick substance, the crop is said to be
During the process of doughing, the plant
spends all its resources in the formation of
those dough like substance and this causes
the plant to reduce and a ‘dent’ starts
to show, on the end of the substance. This
is called denting.
– When the green foliage is gone and maize
appears from the opening of the foliage, the
crop is said to be matured.
- Harvesting – The crop usually gets matured around the year end and then
countries in the European Union
countries produce about 4/5ths of the world’s total
maize production. The production of maize is
constantly increasing. This is because of the rising
demand from the industries in maize is used as raw
material. The area under cultivation for maize is
maximum in the countries United States, China, Brazil,
Mexico and India.
maize in India
produces around 10-14 million tons of maize annually.
This contributes to about 2% of the total world
production. Maize in India is generally produced as
‘kharif’ crop, which means that it is usually
produced in the summers. Most of the corn produced in
India mainly comes from the southern Corn Belt states
of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Earlier in 50’s and
60’s, the maize production was improved through crop
management techniques and increasing the area under
cultivation. Now it is being improved through
improvement in yield levels. The Indian states in
which maize is produced are: -
Maize as a crop needs a vast
variety of environments for production. India as big
and an agriculture-oriented country provide all the
basic requirements for it. India produces around 10
million ton of maize. Karnataka is the leading
producer of maize in India as it falls under the corn
belt of India and produces around 15% of India’s
total produce. In India, the area on which maize is
cultivated is 7 million hectares in 2004. India
consumes almost all the maize that it produces. About
50% of the total Indian produce is consumed as poultry
feed and about 8% is consumed by the starch industry.
Indian maize exports fluctuates around 5 lakh tons
annually. Mostly the southwestern countries import
maize from India.
In another words, India can be
considered as maize importing country. Government
fixes the quantity of maize to be imported each year
and the imports are to be done on 15%.
Market Influencing Factors
of the area in which it is produced and natural
calamities like floods, droughts etc
in the government policies relating to the minimum
prices of the substitute products
- Changes in the seasons
- Technological changes and improvements
trading centers of maize
In India, maize is traded at
Jhabua (Madhya Pradesh)
Bahraich (Uttar Pradesh)
Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh)
is also traded in the Multi Commodity Exchange of
India Ltd and National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange
contract specifications of maize in various commodity