Despite a significant growth in production, the productivity of maize in India (3.07 metric tonnes per hectre) is far lower than that of other major maize-growing nations such as USA (10.51 MT/Ha) and Argentina (7.86 MT/Ha), a FICCI-YES Bank report released in Delhi today says. The productivity gap has been attributed to limited adoption of technological advancements across the maize supply chain.

India produced 31.65 million MT of maize in 2020-21. More than half of this output came from Karnataka (17%), Madhya Pradesh (12%), Maharashtra (11%), Tamil Nadu (8%) and West Bengal (8%). While the country imported roughly about 24,000 MT of maize worth $ 14.2 million in 2021, it exported 3.62 million MT worth $ 935.61 million, the same year. The significant rise in exports was driven by surging maize prices across the globe, which made Indian maize prices more competitive in the international market. In addition, the demand resurgence in the South & Southeast Asian countries (for example: Bangladesh, Vietnam, Malaysia) and lower supply from traditional regions of Argentina and Brazil amid bad weather conditions further boosted maize exports that year, the report points out.

Globally, 1.21 billion MT of maize was produced across 205.87 million in hectares in 2021. The USA was the largest producer of maize contributing to about 32% of global production, followed by China (23%), Brazil (7%), Argentina (5%) and Ukraine (3%). India ranked 4th and 6th in terms of global maize acreage and production, contributing to about 3.96% and 2.13% respectively.

The report acknowledged the efforts of the central and state governments to promote adoption of modern technology and innovations in maize cultivation. However, it pointed out that to ensure that maize technology interventions are being leveraged to their fullest potential, it is necessary for all stakeholders, including policy makers, researchers and the private sector to work collaboratively. The report identifies five distinct action areas for identification, adoption and scaling of innovations and technologies including promotion of public private partnership to leverage technologies and improving adoptability of new technologies. Devising effective extension programmes, building necessary connectivity infrastructure and developing an enabling regulatory environment for introduction and adoption of new technologies are the other suggestions.

The FICCI-YES Bank Knowledge Report – “Transforming India’s Maize Sector- The Critical Role of Technology and Innovations” was released at the 9th India Maize Summit being organised in Delhi.

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