Maize productivity up 4.8 times: Radha Mohan Singh
The Dollar Business Bureau
Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh said maize productivity in India has increased 4.8 times, maize farming improved 2.9 times and its yield enhanced 14 times since 1950 due to the efforts of farmers, scientists and also the policy makers.
The Agriculture Minister was speaking at the India Maize Summit, organised by by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX) in New Delhi on Thursday.
Over 308 maize hybrid varieties have been distributed in India after 1957. More than 30 hybrids and 10 mixed varieties have been issued during the previous five years. Government has introduced several schemes in the past two years to encourage farmers. Despite two continuous droughts, the maize production is estimated at 21.02 million tonnes in Kharif and Rabi season of this year, the minister said.
The minister also said that the Union government is encouraging cultivation of maize in the country through National Food Security Mission (NFSM) and is offering subsidy on maize seeds at Rs.50 per kg on hybrid seeds and Rs.15 per kg on other varieties of seeds. Government is also providing machineries such as seed dryers and seed planters to boost maize farming in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, the states of Green Revolution.
What is heartening to note is that Bihar is challenging the mid-Western states of US in the production of maize. The farmers from northern side of the Ganges and on Kosi river banks are producing over 50 quintal maize per acre, Singh informed.
He said that the government is promoting public-private partnerships in maize cultivation. He called FICCI to play a significant role in strengthening the partnership by establishing maize-based industries. In all Indian states, FICCI can promote dairy industry and silage industry to use maize as fodder. Maize based industries need to be supported by the way of special incentives etc.
The Agriculture Minister has released FICCI-Synergy Technofin Knowledge Paper on the recent trends and challenges of the maize industry. The knowledge paper suggests to establish maize drying units. Maize value chain can also be promoted by adopting suitable cultivars, crop management and better post-harvesting mechanism, the paper revealed.