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Changes in priorities of maize research in India and relation to CIMMYT regional activities

By: Singh, N.N | Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maiz y Trigo (CIMMYT), Mexico, DF (Mexico).
Contributor(s): Srinivasan, G.|Zaidi, P.H.|Prasanna, B.M.|Gonzalez, F.|Lesnick, K [eds.] | Zaidi, P.H [coaut.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookAnalytics: Show analyticsPublisher: Mexico, DF (Mexico) CIMMYT : 2004Description: p. 561-570.ISBN: 970-648-116-8.Subject(s): Agricultural economics | Environmental conditions | Food crops | Food production | Industrial crops | Maize | Nutritional status | Seed production | CIMMYTSummary: In India, greater increases in food and feed production are expected to come from coarse cereals, primarily maize, which have a comparative advantage in low productivity marginal environments. The future of maize is now brighter than past. Today, increasing the maize productivity, production and utilization are not a matter of choice but a necessity due to high population pressure with a high rate of population increase. People need not only be fed at sustenance level but there is an urgent need to improve the nutritional level, particularly for the poorer sector of the population. The potential of increasing maize production for meeting the increased demand of nutritious food is brighter than other cereal crops. Diversified uses of maize as food, feed and for industries created a greater per capita consumption and demand for maize. With improved economy and rise in per capita income in the country and in consequent improvement in the purchasing power, substantially more people will be able to afford and consume animal proteins. This will lead to an even more increased demand for maize. It is predicted that by 2020 the developing countries will demand 55 per cent of global maize production as against the 45 per cent level of consumption. With increasing demand of maize as animal feed all over the world, and the potential of increased maize production in tropics, it could become the important cereal in terms of area and production in the next few decades. Keeping in view the prospects, maize improvement should not be viewed merely as a food crop. Due to its increasing demand as feed, various industrial uses and with availability of value-added varieties and technologies for superior industrial products from maize would be the future priority. The productivity of tropical maize in hot and humid environments (subject to drought and excess of moisture) must be increased to meet the increasing demand. The overall low productivity of maize in the tropics is due to several factors, which include climatic factors such as shorter day length, shorter growing period, low radiation intensity due to cloud cover, high night temperatures and more severe biotic and abiotic stresses. The productivity is also a reflection of intensity of maize breeding efforts devoted to the maize crop in the tropics in general and to difficult and marginal environments in particular as compared to the wealth of information available on temperate maize, largely based on research accomplished in USA. In India, maize occupies 6.5 million hectare of area with an average national productivity of 2.0 t/ha giving over 13.0 million tones production, accounting over 8% of the total cereals and about 30% of total coarse cereal production. Annual national production has steadily increased largely because of improvements in productivity, since area under maize has not increased (Fig. 1). In India, 45% of the total maize produced is used as human food, and about 52% goes to the feed industry. With the indicators on the ground, share of maize as feed is likely to be enhanced substantially in years to come. The poultry industry, with continuing phenomenal growth, has increased from 89 million layers in 1994 to 145 million in 2000 AD. Similarly, the broiler production has gone up from 145 million to 750 million in the year 2000. Obviously, the feed requirements are bound to shoot up from 5.3 to 9.5 million tones per year for poultry industry alone, where maize, sorghum and fishmeal are bound to be the conventional feed ingredients. As the inland fisheries sector has shown a compound growth rate of over 10% per year during nineties, pressure is bound to continue primarily on maize. Keeping in view the prospects and new opportunities for maize in the countries we have re-oriented our research activities to improve maize production and productivity in order to keep pace with the maize demand and supply.Collection: CIMMYT Publications Collection
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In India, greater increases in food and feed production are expected to come from coarse cereals, primarily maize, which have a comparative advantage in low productivity marginal environments. The future of maize is now brighter than past. Today, increasing the maize productivity, production and utilization are not a matter of choice but a necessity due to high population pressure with a high rate of population increase. People need not only be fed at sustenance level but there is an urgent need to improve the nutritional level, particularly for the poorer sector of the population. The potential of increasing maize production for meeting the increased demand of nutritious food is brighter than other cereal crops. Diversified uses of maize as food, feed and for industries created a greater per capita consumption and demand for maize. With improved economy and rise in per capita income in the country and in consequent improvement in the purchasing power, substantially more people will be able to afford and consume animal proteins. This will lead to an even more increased demand for maize. It is predicted that by 2020 the developing countries will demand 55 per cent of global maize production as against the 45 per cent level of consumption. With increasing demand of maize as animal feed all over the world, and the potential of increased maize production in tropics, it could become the important cereal in terms of area and production in the next few decades. Keeping in view the prospects, maize improvement should not be viewed merely as a food crop. Due to its increasing demand as feed, various industrial uses and with availability of value-added varieties and technologies for superior industrial products from maize would be the future priority. The productivity of tropical maize in hot and humid environments (subject to drought and excess of moisture) must be increased to meet the increasing demand. The overall low productivity of maize in the tropics is due to several factors, which include climatic factors such as shorter day length, shorter growing period, low radiation intensity due to cloud cover, high night temperatures and more severe biotic and abiotic stresses. The productivity is also a reflection of intensity of maize breeding efforts devoted to the maize crop in the tropics in general and to difficult and marginal environments in particular as compared to the wealth of information available on temperate maize, largely based on research accomplished in USA. In India, maize occupies 6.5 million hectare of area with an average national productivity of 2.0 t/ha giving over 13.0 million tones production, accounting over 8% of the total cereals and about 30% of total coarse cereal production. Annual national production has steadily increased largely because of improvements in productivity, since area under maize has not increased (Fig. 1). In India, 45% of the total maize produced is used as human food, and about 52% goes to the feed industry. With the indicators on the ground, share of maize as feed is likely to be enhanced substantially in years to come. The poultry industry, with continuing phenomenal growth, has increased from 89 million layers in 1994 to 145 million in 2000 AD. Similarly, the broiler production has gone up from 145 million to 750 million in the year 2000. Obviously, the feed requirements are bound to shoot up from 5.3 to 9.5 million tones per year for poultry industry alone, where maize, sorghum and fishmeal are bound to be the conventional feed ingredients. As the inland fisheries sector has shown a compound growth rate of over 10% per year during nineties, pressure is bound to continue primarily on maize. Keeping in view the prospects and new opportunities for maize in the countries we have re-oriented our research activities to improve maize production and productivity in order to keep pace with the maize demand and supply.

Global Maize Program

English

0502|AGRIS 0501|AL-Maize Program

Juan Carlos Mendieta

INT2823

CIMMYT Publications Collection

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