Maize (Zea mays L) is known as queen of cereals because it has the highest genetic yield potential among the cereals.
The maize is cultivated throughout the year in all states of the country for various purposes including grain, fodder, green cobs, sweet corn, baby corn, poultry and cattle feed, food, starch manufacturing and other industrial purposes. It is predominantly a kharif crop with 85 per cent of the area under cultivation in the kharif season. Maize is the third most important cereal crop in India after rice and wheat. It accounts for approximately 9 per cent of total food grain production in the country.
Maize production in India has grown at a CAGR of 5.5 per cent over the last ten years from 14 million tonne in 2004-05 to 23.29 million tonne in 2013-14. The area under maize cultivation in the period has increased at a CAGR of 2.5 per cent from 7.5 million hectare in 2004-05 to 9.5 million hectare in 2013-14. Maize ranks third in production and contributes to 2.4 per cent of World production with almost 5 per cent share in World harvested area in 2013-14.
Karnataka produced 3.25 million tonne of maize from 1.3 million hectare in the year 2012-13 and accounts for largest producer of maize in the country. Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh together contribute 60 per cent of area and 70 per cent of maize production in India. The estimated maize export from India is around 3.5 million tonne in 2013-14 and the current season maize exports are expected to be lower by about a third over last year’s record high of 4.8 million tonne due to rising domestic demand.
Major markets of maize in Karnataka are Davanagere, Belgaum and Bagalkot. The sowing period of maize in Karnataka starts from the mid of June and harvesting by middle of December. So, for the benefit of farmers, the NCAP Network project on Market Intelligence functioning in the Department of Agricultural Marketing, Co-operation and Business Management, UAS Bangalore collected the modal prices of maize that prevailed in Davanagere market during the last eleven years and econometric analysis was carried out to predict the prices of maize for the harvesting months. Also an opinion survey of maize traders and farmers was conducted. Based on the analysis and Market survey, it is forecasted that maize would fetch a modal price of around Rs.1050-1100 per quintal during January –March 2015. This forecast prevails for current market sentiments & monsoon and could vary with changes in the market situation and rainfall.
During 2013-14, Maize production surpassed the target touching 23.29 million tonnes in India. In order to arrest the falling prices, maize procurement was to the tune of 27.66 lakh metric tonnes was accomplished. Since January 2015, Karnataka Government has started procurement of maize for Annabhagya program at Rs.1100/- per quintal. Keeping in view of the bumper production and surplus stocks the prices are likely to be below MSP this harvest season. So farmers are advised to sell maize to Government Procurement Agencies for better price realization.
Dr.C.P.Gracy, Dr.Sakamma, S., Mrs. Mangala V Reddy
Department of Agricultural marketing co-operation and business Management
UAS, GKVK, Bangalore-65