OPPORTUNITIES IN THE MAIZE VALUE CHAIN.

According to the food and agriculture organisation FAO, the demand for maize almost hit 3 billion metric tonnes in 2019. This is because of its wide variety of uses industrially, serves as major staple food for world was about 1,112.01 million metric tonnes leaving about a deficit of 1.9 million metric tonnes, that same year, Africa had a total production volume of about 90 million metric tonnes and Nigeria averaged production volume of about 11million metric tonnes making it the 2nd largest producer in the continent, after south Africa with 16 000 000 metric tonnes and Ethiopia the 3rd with 8,400,000metric tonnes. Major export destinations include Canada, Ireland, china, Netherlands, Switzerland and some other countries. Currently, over 40 per cent of maize output is used as poultry feed, over 10 per cent as animal feed, over 20 per cent as food, over 11 per cent in starch and other industries, and just 1 per cent as seed. The products from maize are value added products which could include maize starch, liquid glucose, dextrose monohydrate, anhydrous dextrose, sorbitol, corn gluten to name a few. In a country like India, the prime source of starch is maize and the textile industry is for long the largest buyer of maize starch in countries like India.

The local demand in Nigeria is over 10 Million Metric Tonnes excluding exports leaving a deficit of over 2 million Metric tons behind, maize is used in the production of varieties of other industrial produce, As at year 2019, Global Average Price was Over 180NGN but now prices have shot up to over 250NGN. In Nigeria some markets sell as high as 300NGN per kg but with the new planting season, prices might drop because of an increase in supply and demand. Eggs per crate in Nigeria now worth up to over 1500NGN and consumers keep complaining of how ridiculous the prices are and how eggs are not difficult to purchase due to its high price but the poultry farmers should take less blame, the major food in poultry feeds is maize and the increase in its rate of production and management has directly increase the price of the end production of the chickens that feed on the maize. The market remain volatile as the prices of maize become more unstable due to the economic change of things.  

Maize, botanical name Zea mays is one of the crops with the highest demand in the world. Many people classify it as the number one grain in the world because of its extensive use as the primary source of calories in feed formulation for animals, feeds for livestock, planting for beautification and industrial usage. The major maize producing states in Nigeria include Zamfara, Benue, Kano, Sokoto, Kaduna, Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Nassarawa, Anambra, Kwara, Plateau, Yobe, Ogun, Osun and Oyo. It is majorly planted in the southwestern Part of Nigeria because of it easy management practices and fast market proceeds.

The opportunities in the maize production sector seems endless as a lot of things we feed on in Nigeria are a product of maize, we have the golden morn, the cornflakes, the packaged roasted corn, the pap and custard, lot and lot more. 33.3% was estimated to be unemployed in Nigeria according to the Nigeria bureau of statistics, With 1.3 billion people employed in the sector, agriculture is the second greatest source of employment worldwide after services and it accounts 28% of global employment.

Here are the opportunities in store in Maize Farming

  1. The Extensionist: The extension agent play a significant role in the profitability of any agricultural produce, they help to provide specific information about the crop, new innovation and technology important for agriculture. Different maize varieties now exist and they have their importance, the extension agent make sure the farmers is aware of the weakness of the maize variety he is about to plant and how the market will react to it before he proceed to the production phase, the extension agent makes information available, you can become one.
  2. The talker: One of the most reasonable part of agribusiness that people have neglected overtime is the advertising business which is the most sustainable area for profitable agriculture, the Yoruba’s hawk and say ibe oni agbado re ooooo and till now we mostly practice same method to sell off the produced maize in Nigeria. It is needed that the talkers come in to advertise the maize crop using the media platform and other offline methods to ensure more productivity and efficient profitability in the agricultural sector. You can be the talker.
  3. The Laborer hideout: The human resource manager for agricultural farms remains nonexistent in the local farm setting, most local farmers have kept on leveraging on their children for labour and denying their educational right for farming. The chain of labour is very low and it makes production very difficult to venture into by aspiring farmers. You can start business that provide labourers for local farmers.
  4. The machine fabricator: Recently I was online surfing the internet checking and curious about agricultural machine fabricator in Nigeria but to my surprise the country is still hungry for agricultural machine fabricators, imagine having machine fabricators the way we have cassava farmers in Nigeria, how effective would the country food production be? Shellers, planters, cheese maker and more are fabricated machine that can be made for the production of any maize end product.  It is important we have agriculture engineering graduate function in machine fabrication, machine makes work easier and faster, it improve the productivity of the agricultural sector.
  5. The producer: Maize account for one of the most common crop human and animals feed on, farmers produce this maize but as we have seen that the production is not enough for the ever increasing population, it is needed that more maize producer are engaged with maize production using technology as a basis and partnership for high effectiveness.
  6. The Processor: pap is one of the widely eaten maize processed food, the old drinks pap, the young do and the baby drinks too. Golden morn, cornflakes and some other beverages are produced from the processing of maize, all of this processed food are done by a food/maize processor.
  7. The Marketer: All ventures need it marketers they say, maize production needs marketers beyond the roasting and roadside selling vendors, Nigeria maize production needs to increase it volume of profitability and the marketers have a lot of role to play.
  8. The logistics personnel: Do you know that above 20% of foods are lost during the course of logistics I mean during the course of transportation of food from a point to another point. Logistics personnel are highly needed in the agricultural sector as farmers can’t wait any second to lose profit and produce anymore. It won’t be bad to have a startup or firm like gotten during transportation of maize.
  9. A feed mill personnel: Working as an intern in a feed mill gave the understanding and insight of how important maize is in the feeds of livestock, maize account for the highest meal in the feeds of livestock. You can decide to work as a feed mill personnel.

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