It is essential to enlarge the export basket for sustainable growth of maize, said Dr. Ashok Gulati, Chair Professor for Agriculture, ICRIER, and has urged the government to create a neutral - incentive structure for all crops, including maize, to give a boost to the production of the crop.
Speaking at the 2nd edition of 'India Maize Summit 2014' on the theme 'Road Map for Sustainable Growth & Developing Value Chain' organized by FICCI in association with NCDEX, Dr. Gulati said that in the past, when corporates tried to acquire land for farming in tribal areas, NGOs had raised objections. He suggested that a Tripartite Agreement could be arrived at among corporates, farmers and NGOs to help building synergy among the three parties rather than creating friction.
The summit aims to create favorable framework to successfully meet the challenges and opportunities for Indian maize crop, get global perspective to aid growth in export of Indian maize, identifying, examining and suggesting reforms to strengthen maize value chain and empower relevant stakeholders with cutting edge technology and post harvest management tool.
Dr. Gulati added that the government policies should support scaling up production of quality protein maize (QPM). India, he said, faces the issue of malnutrition, hence, adding eggs rich in maize protein to midday meal provided in schools would benefit young children and create a large market base for corporate opting for maize production.
Also for sustainable growth of maize, it is essential to vigorously propagate the crop as animal feed and enlarge the export basket, he said.
Dr. Gulati stated that domestic prices also play a critical role in determining demand. If the domestic price is higher than those prevailing globally, the demand of maize for export will decrease resulting in lower production.
Samir Shah, MD & CEO, NCDEX, said that India was on the threshold of a maize revolution. The introduction of new hybrid seeds that can survive low winter conditions, off-season diseases and pests with high productivity has made maize a profitable alternative even for small farmers in UP, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Increase in rabi production, along with increased acreage and supply, has turned India into a net exporter. The rise in rural incomes has provided a further fillip to demand for cereals and protein foods and shifted poultry farms from backyards to organized business.
Dr. A Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI, said that corn production has nearly doubled from around 12.0 million tonnes a decade ago to around 23 million tonnes today. This increase in the production has resulted in expanding the export market of the crop.
He added that the sector also witnessed active participation of the private players which helped in driving Private Public Partnerships successfully. The challenge for the maize industry was to match up to international standards.
In his closing remarks, Sanjay Kaul, Co-Chairman, FICCI Agriculture Committee, said the government needed to ensure that there was a stable trade policy in place. Major changes in country's trade policy every year make the investors uncertain. Also, a price mechanism needed to be created which ensured that domestic prices do not go overboard.
He added that FICCI would help in strengthening the process of ongoing reforms in different value chains, which would empower the farmers and create a viable environment for investors.
According to the Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Felix Kosgei, the country’s annual maize production is expected to fall by over 10 million bags this year.
Kosgei, speaking during the national conference on sustainable land management, noted that poor rainfall coupled by climate change would see the annual production drop from the expected 42 million to 32 million bags.
The CS was quick to downplay the fall noting that the shortage would last for two months and mitigation measures were already in place.
"The poor rains have affected production but we want to diversify to rice production whose annual growth is now at 20%," Kosgei said.
He noted that arid and semi-arid lands contributed 80% of the country's land mass and had enormous potential that lay untapped.
"Of the land, 9.2 million hectares have potential of crop production if irrigated and this under exploration has negative economic and social consequences," he said.
Kosgei said that though the country had 24million hectares of land that could be used for livestock production, only 50% was currently being exploited.
The CS added that the increasing demand for fuel, wood, charcoal and timber by the growing population had led to loss of forest covers aggravating land degradation.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Country Director Maria Threade Keating said that donors had pledged USD 4 million towards sustainable land management in dry areas.
She said that four mini-pilots project in Daadab, Kitui, Narok and Embu counties would benefit from the five year programme.
"The UNDP will add a further USD 0.5 million to this project which seeks to improve water harvesting which one of the challenges in arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL)," she said.
Sustainable Project Manager Zeinabu Khalif said that various interventions were in place to upscale conservations in the ASALs.
She said that communities in the arid regions were using indigenous trees for charcoal burning which was very wasteful.
"We have introduced improved kilns for sustainable charcoal burning and advising communities to plant fast growing trees species," she said.
Maize production in India is likely to touch the 25-million-tonne (MT) mark this year, as adequate monsoon rains trigger higher acreage across growing states. According to data available from the ministry of agriculture, the area under cultivation maize rose by 11 per cent to 82.24 lakh hectare at the beginning of October 2013, as against 74 lakh hectare in the corresponding period of last year.Maize production in India is likely to touch the 25-million-tonne (MT) mark this year, as adequate monsoon rains trigger higher acreage across growing states. According to data available from the ministry of agriculture, the area under cultivation maize rose by 11 per cent to 82.24 lakh hectare at the beginning of October 2013, as against 74 lakh hectare in the corresponding period of last year.
Higher than normal rains in major growing states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh are likely to further push the rabi acreage this fiscal. As per the first advance estimates by the ministry, the maize production is expected to be 17.8MT, compared to around 16MT, the fourth estimates for 2012-13.
“Maize production is likely to surpass all records this year. We expect a bumper crop, as the kharif production may have crossed 18MT by the time the ministry comes out with the second advance estimates, as first estimates are usually very conservative,” Raju Choksi, vice-president, agri-commodities, Anil Nutrients Ltd, said. He added that last year's rabi production stood at around 6.25MT despite bad monsoon, and so this year's rabi production too is likely to be higher.
“Maize prices have been firm for the last couple of months, due to a scarce supply in the market. With the first kharif crop likely to arrive in the markets next fortnight, the prices are expected to fall by seven to 10 per cent,” Choksi said. The prices would also be impacted because of the higher global supply.
“The global supply of maize is likely to rise following record crop in Argentina, Brazil and the Black Sea Region; which are the major exporters to the world markets. India is currently outpriced in the international markets, as Indian corn is being offered at $270-275 per MT FOB Kakinada/Vizag, compared to corn of Ukrainian origin, which is being sold around $235 per MT CNF South Korea,” Choksi informed.
Maize has been trading in the range of Rs 1,500-1,600 per quintal across major spot markets, much above the minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 1,175 per quintal, which was fixed the by government last year. This year, government has fixed an MSP of Rs 1,310 per quintal, which is higher than last year's MSP by about 11 per cent.
Maize production in the country this year is likely to touch a record 25 million tonnes as adequate monsoon rains trigger higher acreage across growing states.
According to data available from the Union Ministry of Agriculture, the area under maize, as on October 2, has risen by 11 per cent to 82.24 lakh hectares against 74 lakh ha in the corresponding period last year
Higher than normal rains across major maize growing states such as Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh are likely to further push up rabi acreage this fiscal.
According to the first advance estimates of Ministry of Agriculture, maize production is expected at 17.8 mt compared with 16 mt, according to the fourth estimates for 2012-13.
“Maize production is likely to surpass all records this year. We expect bumper crop as kharif production may cross 18 mt by the time the Ministry comes out with second advance estimates, as the first estimates are usually very conservative,” Raju Choksi, Vice-President (Agri-Commodities), Anil Nutrients Ltd said here on Monday.
Rabi production last year stood at around 6.25 mt despite bad monsoon and so this year, rabi production too is likely to be higher.
Maize prices have been firm since the last couple of months due to scarce supply in the market.
With kharif crop likely to arrive in the markets from next fortnight onwards, the prices are expected to fall by 7-10 per cent, he said.
Prices will also be impacted because of higher global supply which may further increase following record crop in Argentina, Brazil and the Black Sea Region, which are major exporters to world markets.
India is currently out priced in the international markets as Indian corn is being offered at $270-275/mt as against the Ukrainian variety being sold around $235/mt, he said.
Maize has been trading in the range of Rs 1,500-1,600 a quintal , much above the minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 1,175 fixed by the Government last year.
This year, the Government has fixed MSP of Rs 1,310, higher by about 11 per cent compared to last year.
Punjab government today said it will give 75 per cent subsidy on maize seeds in 10 districts of the state to encourage farmers to shift to the crop.
Initially, the subsidy will be provided to farmers in 10 districts, including Barnala, Fathegarh Sahib, Jalandhar, Kapurthla and Ludhiana, and would be further extended to remaining districts in the second phase, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Agriculture, Gurbachan Singh Babbehali said.
Moga, Patiala, Ropar, Sangrur and Mohali are the other diostricts where the scheme has been launched.
He said the subsidy will be provided on hybrid seeds of maize P 3396 and TX 369.
He said that state government has made elaborate arrangements for marketing the crop. Punjab government will install maize driers at Saila Khurd in Hoshiarpur district and at Nawan Shahr and these driers would become operational soon.
India's maize exports rose by 24% to 4.78 million tonnes in the 2012-13 fiscal due to adequate domestic supply and traders adopting better packaging practices to meet global standards, an industry body said today.
The country had exported 3.85 million tonnes of maize (corn) in the previous fiscal.
"There has been a substantial increase in maize exports. Production was higher and exporters took measures to improve packaging practices to meet the global standards of shipment," Indian Maize Development Association President Sain Das said on the sidelines of an event here.
As per the data maintained by the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCIS), maize exports increased in value terms to $1302 million in 2012-13, as against $1075.70 million in the previous year.
Stating that maize production is on rise every year, Das said production in the 2013-14 crop year (July-June) is expected to increase to 23 million tonnes, as against 21.82 million tonnes in the 2012-13 crop year.
Timely monsoon, adoption of improved technologies like single-cross hybrids and crop management practices would help increase overall production of maize this year, he said.
Maize is cultivated twice a year, during summer and winter. India is Asia's largest exporter of the grain, with a major contribution coming from the summer crop.
Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh are major producers of maize crop in the country.
In a significant decision to boost crop diversification in the state, the Punjab Cabinet Monday approved maize cultivation on pilot basis under the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) mode.
The Cabinet also gave go ahead for implementing e-Trip/ e-Governance to prevent leakage of revenue, besides framing new rules under some additional clauses.
The implementation of e-Trip/e-Governance is projected to result in additional revenue to the tune of Rs 200-300 crore annually.
The maize project, meanwhile, is aimed at achieving enhancement of area under maize cultivation by 40,000 hectares in 56 blocks that have been identified.
The proposed varieties of maize hybrid seeds would be cultivated, produced and harvested within 120 days from June 1, 2013, an official said.
To bring efficiency in the rural drinking water supply schemes, the Cabinet also approved the recruitment at 180 posts including 30 Sub Divisional Engineers (SDEs), 120 Junior Engineers (JEs) and 30 Junior Draftsmen in the Water Supply & Sanitation department. The recruitment of SDEs will be carried by PPSC while the JEs and Junior draftsmen would be recruited through an independent agency.