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Maize Mania - The new Queen of cereals

Article courtesy: Down to Earth
Image courtesy: Sayantoni Palchoudhuri
Authors: Latha Jishnu, Jyotika Sood, M. Suchitra, Sumana Narayanan

Maize has become the queen of cereals, courted by state governments, seed companies, farmers and the feedstock and starch industries as the crop of the future.
The golden promise of hybrid maize with its high productivity and high returns is luring farmers across the country. But this triumphal march is raising concerns about food security: maize is after all an industrial crop and used little as food. Food sovereignty campaigners are raising concerns about the shrinking acreage of millets and other staple foods of small farmers on account of the generous subsidies given to maize.
Latha Jishnu and Jyotika Sood meet maize scientists, agriculture mandarins, industry leaders, nutrition experts and farmers, especially those in the tribal belt, to understand the maize phenomenon which is changing the agricultural landscape. M. Suchitra in Andhra Pradesh and Sumana Narayanan in Tamil Nadu track developments in these high productivity states.


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