India Govt Aims for a 10% Surge in Maize Production by 2025-26

To meet rising demand from animal feed and bio-fuel makers, the government is aiming to increase production of maize by 10% to 42 million tonne (MT) by 2025-26 from 38 MT in 2022-23 crop year (July-June) through initiating measures such as crop diversification, cluster development for ethanol plants and involving private sector in seed development.

Sources said the agriculture ministry is currently working with Indian Institute of Maize Research, Punjab to boost maize production through developing high yielding varieties which have higher recovery for ethanol.

Officials said that developing high starch varieties to increase ethanol recovery is being worked out.

The agriculture ministry also identified 53 districts high yielding districts in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Punjab and Bihar for expanding maize area.

The development of maize clusters around ethanol plants is being initiated by the agriculture ministry.

The ministry has urged private sector to leverage public private partnership for integrated agriculture value chain development scheme for maize to ethanol production.

Currently 10.74 million hectare (MH) is under maize output and the aim is to expand area by one MH in the next couple of years.

Under the crop diversification paddy, the focus is being given to divert paddy grown in Indo-Gangetic plains and north-western plans to maize.

In addition, under a plan approved, the farmers cooperative Nafed and National Cooperative Consumers Federation (NCCF) will purchase maize from the farmers at the Minimum Support Price (MSP) and supply to companies for ethanol production.

While globally maize is the primary feed-stock for ethanol production, it is used in India mostly for animal feed and industrial use.

Source: Financial Express