Official advises farmers to store the produce for future sale

Come January 2012, maize is expected to fetch the farmers more.

The crop is grown in about 8 million hectares in the country and the yield is 2.3 tonnes a hectare. In Andhra Pradesh, which is the leading maize producer in the country with 21 p.c. of total production, the crop area doubled to 8.56 lakh ha from 4.52 lakh ha in the last ten years. However, only 35 p.c. of the produce is used for human consumption, the rest going to the feed industry, cereal industry, starch production, corn syrup and ethanol.

Maize prices have stabilised in the past two months due to sluggish demand from industry and with adequate stock on hand. Poultry entrepreneurs feel that prices may be decreasing with an expected increase in production during 2011-12. While the price hovers between Rs.950 and Rs.1,000 per quintal during Oct-Dec 2011, it is expected to rise after January.

“Econometric analysis of modal prices of maize in Nizamabad market taken for 12 years was carried out and the results indicate a hike after January,” says P. Raghuram, professor of agricultural economics, who heads the Agricultural Market Intelligence Centre, a unit of National Agricultural Innovation Project (NAIP). He advises farmers to store the produce and sell it in Jan-Feb next year.