Uttar Pradesh Government Aims to Boost Maize Production to Exceed 3.2 Million Metric Tons

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With the maize basket now feeding ethanol output for mixing in petrol, Uttar Pradesh is targeting to increase the production to more than 3.2 million tonnes (mt) by 2027-28.

Currently, the state’s maize production across different cropping seasons — kharif, rabi, and zaid — is estimated at 2.12 mt across 830,000 hectares. The yield is pegged at nearly 25.49 quintals (100 kg) per hectare, which is lower than the national average.

The state plans to increase maize acreage by 200,000 hectares and boost production by an additional 1.1 mt. This will hike the state’s maize area and production to about 1.03 million hectares (MH) and 3.2 mt, respectively.

With robust maize output and downstream value chain, the government is looking to boost the state’s rural economy and support its flagship trillion-dollar economy roadmap.

Recently, the Yogi Adityanath Cabinet approved a maize development programme to promote its cultivation across 75 districts by providing additional benefits to cultivators and conducting special sessions.

According to a government official, the state will invest almost Rs 150 crore on various maize publicity programs and give incentives to food processing units.

Maize crop has multifarious uses as food, poultry feed, and fuel (grain based ethanol). It is also used in pharmaceutical, cosmetic, textile, paper, and alcohol industries. Moreover, it is consumed as value added food such as flour, ‘dhokla’, baby corn, and popcorn with the growing urbanisation and ‘mall culture’ bolstering its consumption among the youth.

Maize is the third most important cereal crop in India, after paddy and wheat, and accounts for nearly 10 per cent of total food grain production. India is the fifth-largest producer of maize in the world, accounting for 2.5 per cent of the global output.

Globally, maize is referred to as the ‘queen of cereals’ owing to its high genetic yield potential among the cereal crops.

Industry has estimated that India needs to ramp up maize production by 10 mt over the next four-five years to cater to the demand from the ethanol and poultry sectors.

The state is working on a strategy to promote the basket of unconventional crops, including maize, oilseeds, and pulses to meet the projected demand.

Source: Business Standard