India needs to raise maize output to 44-45 million tonnes in 5 years to meet demand: Agri secretary

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New Delhi, Apr 18 (PTI) The Centre on Tuesday said the country's maize output needs to be increased to 44-45 million tonnes in the next five years amid growing demand for the grain for ethanol production and poultry industry.


Union agriculture secretary Manoj Ahuja, speaking at the 9th India Maize Summit organied by industry body Ficci here, also stressed on the need to cut down the losses in the entire value chain of maize in a systematic manner.

"Currently, maize production in the country is in the range of 33-34 million tonnes. We need a quantity jump in the maize to 44-45 million tonnes in the next five years in order to meeting the rising demand for ethanol and the poultry industry," Manoj said.

There is vast potential to harness in the maize value chain. Making better seed availability, providing storage and marketing linkages, public and private partnerships, among others, should be focused on amid growing threat of climate change, he added.


Addressing the event, Maharasthra agriculture minister Abdul Sattar said the state government is ready to support the private players that are keen to invest in the value chain of maize, especially ethanol, in Maharasthra.

"If companies are keen to invest in the maize value chain, we are ready to support as this will empower our farmers," he said.

After Uttar Pradesh, Maharasthra has the highest number of sugar mills in the country. Maize can be used for ethanol making in the state as this would enhance the income of the farmers, he added.


Sattar also called on private companies to set up warehouses in the state, which would help maize growers hold their stocks and sell later when prices are better.

A Ficci-Yes Bank Knowledge report 'Transforming India's maize sector - the critical role of technology and innovations' was released on the occasion.

Top officials from Corteva Agriscience and Sammunati were also present at the event. PTI LUX HVA