UP CM Yogi AdityanathUP CM Yogi Adityanath

Virendra Singh Rawat

With maize now feeding ethanol production for mixing in fuel, Uttar Pradesh is looking to hike maize (Indian corn) output to more than 3 million tonnes (MT) by 2027-28.

Currently, the UP maize production spanning kharif, rabi and zaid sowing seasons is estimated at 2.12 MT across 830,000 hectares.

The state is targetting to increase maize acreage by 200,000 hectares and boost production by an additional 1.1 MT. This will boost UP maize area and production to nearly 1.03 million hectares (MH) and 3.2 MT respectively.

The Yogi Adityanath cabinet recently approved a dedicated maize development programme.

Maize has multifarious uses as food, poultry feed and fuel (grain based ethanol). Maize is used in pharmaceutical, cosmetic, textile, paper and alcohol industries.

Moreover, maize 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.

In India, maize is the third most important cereal crop after paddy and wheat, and accounts for nearly 10 percent of total food grain production. India is the 5th largest producer of maize in the world, accounting for roughly 2.5 percent of the global output.

Industry has underlined that India needed to push maize production by 10 MT over the next 4-5 years to cater the demand from ethanol and poultry segments.

The demand for maize is rising due to growing health awareness. People prefer maize for its high nutritional value, macronutrients like starch, fibre, protein, fat, vitamin B complex, carotene and essential minerals viz. magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, copper, etc.

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