how to start maize farming in Nigeria

Maize farming is the cultivation of maize or corn from the seed stage to the marketing of the harvested maize or corn. Maize farming is unarguably the most popular type of crop cultivation or farming in Nigeria. Go to any town, village or city in Nigeria, you are likely to see a lot of maize farmers.

Maize farming in Nigeria is practised in all the geopolitical zones of the country. There are maize farmers in Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Edo, Delta, Rivers, Abuja, Plateau, Nasarawa, Imo, Anambra. Kano, Kebbi, Kaduna and all states in the country.

Maize is a staple food in Nigeria and hugely consumed by Nigerians. Most Nigerians will consume maize or its derivatives at least once every day.

How to Get Started with Maize Farming in Nigeria

  1. Farmland Site Selection
  2. Time and Season to Plant
  3. Farmland/Soil Preparation
  4. Choosing of the Maize Variety to Grow
  5. Ascertaining Plant Population
  6. Equipment
  7. Irrigation
  8. Climatic Conditions
  9. Seeding and Planting of the Maize Seeds on the Field
  10. Weed Control
  11. Fertilizer and Manure Management
  12. Management of Pests and Diseases
  13. Harvest
  14. Post-Harvest
  15. Insurance

1. Farmland Site Selection

Farmland for Corn

Maize can thrive in a variety of oil types, however, maize prefers a deep loamy soil rich in organic maters and nitrogen. Maize is known as a nitrogen hungry crop, planting this crop in a soil rich in nitrogen will positively impact its growth and yield.

The farmland site to be used for maize farming should be ideally plain or flat. The soil should be well draining. Maize will not do well in a water logged area. Soils that are too clayey or muddy should be avoided because they can be prone to flooding, they also usually have a low content of calcium.

Your preferred location or site for maize farming should have a soil that is not too acidic or too alkaline. Maize will do well in soils with a pH of 5.5 – 6.5.

Also, ensure that your farmland has an easy access so that you can be able to evacuate your produce without stress.

2. Time and Season to Plant

Timing is very important in maize farming in Nigeria especially if you are depending on rain. To record a good yield in your maize farm, your corn plants must get adequate amount of water. Maize loves water, starve corn plants of water and expect to have a poor yield. In the southern part of Nigeria, it is advisable to start the planting of maize from April. Some farmers start in March but rainfall pattern nowadays is erratic. Rain may start in March and seize till May. You need to observe the rainfall pattern well before you start planting.

In The northern part of the country, maize cultivation should start in June. Wrong timing can lead to a dismal performance of your maize plants. To eliminate the issue of timing in maize farming, a farmer can consider irrigation. With irrigation, you can cultivate your maize anytime of the year without fear.

In the southern rain forest belt of Nigeria, maize planting can start from the end of March/early April.

In the Guinea Savannah belt of Nigeria, planting of maize should start between mid May and early June.

In the Sudan Savannah, maize planting should start in  mid June to early July while in Sahel Savanna, maize panting should start in mid July.

3. Land preparation and planting

Farmland Preparation

To be a successful as a maize farmer, you need to prepare your farmland for planting. Farmland preparation involves clearing the trees, stumps and weeds on your farmland. After the clearing of the farmland,  ploughing, harrowing and ridging can be done.

Land preparation is easier, cheaper and faster in the savanna belt of Nigerian that the rain forest belt because the rain forest belt is too dense with a lot of trees and vegetation.

Land preparation breaks up the texture of the soil and improves oxygen penetration into the soil, this helps the plants on the soil to grow well. Land preparation also improves the penetration of water into the soil and the efficacy of fertilizers applied on the soil.

Animals and tractors can be used for ploughing, harrowing and ridging, however, for large maize farms, the use of tractors is better and more efficient. They can also be used for planting of the maize seeds. There are cheap planters in Nigeria that you can buy to facilitate the planting of maize seeds.

4. Choosing of the Maize Variety or Seeds to Grow

Most maize farmers in Nigeria go to the open market to buy dry maize seeds and plants; this often leads to poor yield. We strongly advise to plant hybrid maize variety like Pioneer seeds in order to have a good yield.

Some hybrid and open pollinated maize varieties in Nigeria include the following:

a) Dekalb Maize Seeds: DK 920, DK 818, DK 234, DK 777

b) Pioneer Hybrid Maize Seeds

c) SeedCo Maize Seeds: SC 645, SC 649, SC 651, SC 510, SC 719

d) Premier Seeds: Oba 98 (white, QPM), Oba Super-1 (white), Oba Super-2 (yellow) and Oba Super-3 (white) etc.

e) Open Pollinated Varieties: Sammaz Series.

We have tried Pioneer seeds and the result was fantastic. Picking the right maize seeds or variety can significantly increase your maize yield.

5. Plant Population

closely spaced maize plants

Plant population is can determine if a maize farmer will make profit or not. To make good profit in maize farming, you need to have at least 50,000 stands of maize plants per hectare; this can be increased to up to 70,000 stands if you plant some hybrid varieties.

Ask most maize farmers in Nigeria the plant population on their farm, they will likely tell you that they do not know. If you investigate yourself, you will see that their plant population is abysmally low, probably 10,000 to 20,000 maize plants per hectare. With his low plant population, they can hardly make any profit.

It is advisable you have an intra-plant spacing of 25 cm and an inter-row spacing of 75 cm when planting maize. This will ensure that your farm will have about 55,000 plants per hectare. If you do 20cm intra-plant spacing, you can increase your maize plant population per hectare to about 66,000.

6. Equipment Needed for Maize Farming in Nigeria

The following are some of the equipment needed for maize farming in Nigeria:

  • Tractors
  • Irrigation Equipment
  • Cutlasses
  • Hoes
  • Boom Sprayers
  • Drones
  • Plough
  • Harrowers
  • Ridgers etc.

7. Irrigation for Maize Farming

maize farming with drip irrigation

Drip irrigation and sprinkler irrigation are the most appropriate types of irrigation that can be used in maize farming in Nigeria.

Rain gun irrigation can be a cheap and acceptable type of sprinkler irrigation that can be used for maize farming if there is a large reservoir of water around the farm. With rain guns, maize can be cultivated all year round. Spray tubes can also be used for maize farming.

Drip irrigation is the best type of irrigation but it is far expensive than sprinkler irrigation, using it may not be justifiable given the low value of maize grains in the market. However, if you are cultivating sweet corn, drip irrigation can be used.

8. Climatic Conditions

Maize crop does well under temperatures ranging from 20 – 35 Celsius. Some maize varieties can also do well under temperatures exceeding 36 Celsius if adequate water supply is in place.

Maize can tolerate temperatures below 20 Celsius, however, it will not do well in very cold conditions.

Maize needs 30 – 70 cm of rainfall. Most of the maize farmers in Nigeria rely solely on the rains. There are very few irrigation maize farmers in Nigeria.

9. Seeding and Planting of the Maize Seeds on the Field

10 – 20 kg of maize seeds should be planted in one hectare of farmland. Maize seed should be planted as a single seed per hole. A hole of 2-5 cm should be dug and a single seed of maize should be buried in the hole.

About 66,000 maize seeds should be planted on one hectare of farmland. Seeds that fail to sprout should be replaced after a few days in order to guarantee the optimal plant population.

10. Weed Control

Weeds can reduce your yield in maize farming by 90%. You should endeavor to keep your maize farm free of weeds. Ensure that no weed is visible on your maize farm. Weeds share water and nutrients with your plants, they can starve your crops of the important nutrients they need to grow well. Weeds also harbor pests and diseases which can be transferred to your crops.

The first few weeks in maize farming determines about 40-50% of the yield of the crop. You should strive to have a weed free maize farm this period and beyond. If you are a commercial maize farmer, you cannot hand weed your maize farm, its better you use the recommended herbicides for maize crop. There are pre-emergence herbicides and post-emergence herbicides that should be used for maize farming.

Lagon is one of the best herbicides for the control of weeds in corn farming.

11. Fertilisers and Manures

I have heard some farmers saying they would only use manure for their maize farms, yes, if you are a commercial maize farmer looking at maximizing the returns from your investment, I will strongly advise that you use both inorganic fertilisers, manures and organic fertilisers.

Maize as a crop is a nutrient hungry crop. Your maize crop needs a lot of nutrients especially nitrogen. One hectare of maize farm will need about 8-15 50kg bags of NPK and Urea fertilisers. It is also advisable you mix all your fertilizers with potassium humate in order to maximize the efficiency of the fertilisers.

NPK fertilizers and urea are known as the best fertilizers for maize farming in Nigeria.

Also, bury all fertilisers applied to your maize crop; never leave fertilisers on the surface of the soil. Soil improver like manure, rice husks and plant materials can also be used for your maize farm. You can also use microbial innoculants.

12. Pests and Diseases Management

maize disease

Pests and diseases can mess up your maize farm and make you record huge losses. You should use all the recommended pesticides and disease control techniques when cultivating maize. The most destructive of all maize pests is the army worm. Endeavour to use the pesticides recommended for army worm before infestation. Remember, in farming, prevention is better than cure.

There are nematicides, fungicides, bactericides, rodenticides, insecticides and acaricides that can be used to manage pests and diseases in maize farming.

Below are some of the diseases and pests that can affect maize and how to control them:

a) Downy mildew (DM): Downy mildew can affect maize crop in Nigeria. This is an oomycetes infection that changes the colour of the leaves of the maize plant to yellow and brown. It negatively impacts the photosynthetic process in the plant and ultimately leads to low yield. To prevent this disease, maize seeds should be coated with Metalaxyl. Foliar fungicides like Mancozeb amd copper oxide can be used.

b) Leaf blight: This is a fungal disease that can affect maize plants in Nigeria. Fungicides like mancozeb or any copper fungicides can be used as preventive or curative methods for the disease.

c) Maize rust disease: Rust is also a fungal disease that can affect maize crop in Nigeria. The foliar application of Diathane or any good fungicides can prevent or cure this disease.

d) Stalk Rot: Stalk rot is a fungal disease that causes the rottening of the stalk of maize plants. Trichoderma biofungicides or chemical fungicides can be used to control this disease. An increase in potassium fertilizer can also reduce the incidences of this disease.

e) Blight Disease: Blight is caused by Rhizoctonia sp.  Pseudomonas fluorescens culture or the application of inorganic fungicides can control this disease.

f) Army Worm: Arguably, the most dangerous insect that can destroy a maize farm within a twinkle of an eye, army worm can be controlled by using Tihan, Thunder, Ampligo and other selected insecticides in Nigeria. It is better to prevent army worm than trying to eradicate them after infestation.

g) Stem borer: This insect is common in maize fields in Nigeria. It can be controlled with the spraying of Cholopyriphos and the use of Carbofuran (wormforce).

h) Pink borer: Just like stem borer, It can be controlled with the spraying of Cholopyriphos and the use of Carbofuran (wormforce).

i) Termites: Termites can destroy a maize farm if they are not quickly controlled. The application of Fepronil granules can be used to control termites.

maize production in nigeria

13. Harvest 

When the silk of the maize plant turns brown, it is time for harvest of the fresh corn cobs. Fresh corn can be harvested after 50 – 70 days. If the maize farmer prefers to harvest his maize crop as grains, harvesting can start after 85 – 120 days depending on the variety planted and the prevailing temperature.

Harvesting is usually done by removing the corn cob by hand. A cutlass or sickle can also be used to cut the whole maize plant during harvest. Harvesting can also be done with the use of machines like a combined harvester.

If the harvested maize cobs are not dry enough, they can be left on the field for sun drying. Dryers can also be used for drying the corn cobs.

14. Post Harvest

The post harvest activities in maize farming includes shelling, threshing, storage, transportation to market and the final marketing of the produce to buyers. Grading, sorting and bagging are also some of the post harvest activities in maize farming.

For large farms, mechanized shellers can be used to shell and thresh the maize from the cobs. Silos can be used to store the shelled maize for longer shelf life. Pesticides may be used to prevent the activities of pests on the harvested maize.

15. Insurance

You should not forget to insure your maize farms against all forms of insurable risks. You can insure your farm by contacting NAIC or other insurance companies in Nigeria like Leadway Insurance.

Guide for Hybrid Maize Cultivation – One Hectare

maize cultivation

Below is the protocol or plan to be used in cultivation of HYBRID maize, please note that the fertilization application rate can be amended to fit your soil profile.  Ensure that the pH of the soil is between 5.5 – 6.5, soil pH higher than 6.0 is better. The pesticides application rate can also vary. This is just a generic maize farming protocol.

10 days before land preparation

Spray a mixture of 4 litres of Glyphosate and 4 sachets of Emamectin benzoate per hectare. Wait for 10 days

2 weeks before planting:

Land tillage: Plough and harrow/ridge or harrow twice or ridge depending on land condition. Wait for 2 weeks to allow for weed regrowth for good effectiveness of the pre-emergence herbicides at planting time.

At this stage, you can add rice husks, manure or any soil amendment materials to your soil to increase the Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC).

At planting:

Plant seeds at 75cm (inter-row spacing) by 20cm (intra-row spacing) (66,000 plants/ha), 75cm by 25cm (53,000 plants/ha)

Apply 15 bags of NPK 15:15:15 or 11 bags of NPK 20:10:10 (220 kg N / ha) or 12 bags of NPK 15:15:15 or 9 bags of 20:10:10 (180 kg N / ha). 

Spray a mixture of 4 liters of paraquat, 4 liters of atrazine and 4 sachets of Emamectin benzoate not later than the next day of planting.

Please agrochemicals should not be sprayed in the hot afternoon for effectiveness

The seed should be planted at a depth of 5cm along the row while the fertilizer should be placed 5cm beside each planted seed and 5cm deeper than the seed depth

1 week after planting:

Gap filling should be done for few missing spots to ensure the right plant population and weed control done after planting should be confirmed if it was effective, areas showing weed growth should be reported at observation

2 weeks after planting:

Spray 4 sachets of Emamectin benzoate per hectare for prevention and/or control of armyworms or insect attack

4 weeks after planting:

First urea application: 2.5 bags for (220 kg N / ha) or 2 bags for (180 kg N / ha)

Ensure fertilizer is buried beside the plants to prevent wastage

Spray 4 sachets of Emamectin benzoate per hectare for any deposited eggs and to prevent resistance by the armyworms

6 weeks after planting:

Second urea application: 2.5 bags for (220 kg N / ha) or 2 bags for (180 kg N / ha)

Spray 4 liters of Lambdacyalothrin per hectare for any visible armyworms

All urea application should be applied from 4 weeks after planting for large acreages without splitting to maximize cost.

8 weeks after planting:

Post emergence application: Spray 4 liters of paraquat per hectare, for proper weed control; this can be done before 8 weeks depending on the severity of weeds present.

NOTE: Ensure that there are no weeds in the field before fertilizer application.

Potassium Humate is advised to be mixed to all fertilizers before application. All fertilisers must be buried during application.

Also note that Lagon herbicide has been the best type of herbicide we have used for maize farming in Nigeria.

All agrochemicals mentioned above are active ingredients that can be gotten in different trade names. Please ensure good quality products are used.

With the above protocol, a maize farmer in Nigeria is expected to get a yield of 6-10 tonnes per hectare of maize.

maize farming in nigeria

Maize Farming Business Plan in Nigeria

Financial Plan (in Naira ₦)

Fertilisers:  
NPK  (10 bags)           100,000.00
Urea Fertilizer (4 bags)             48,000.00
Potassium Humate               9,000.00
            157,000.00
   
Pesticides:  
Insecticides (15 bottles)             60,000.00
Nematicides               5,000.00
              65,000.00
Herbicides             40,000.00

PROFIT ANALYSIS FOR ONE HECTARE OF MAIZE FARMING VENTURE- SCENARIO 1

Revenue:    
7 tons @ N280,000 per ton          1,960,000.00
Cost:    
Rent of one hectare of farmland             30,000.00  
Fertiliser           157,000.00  
Manure             50,000.00  
Pesticides             65,000.00  
Herbicides             40,000.00  
Hybrid Seeds             40,000.00  
Labour for 4 months           240,000.00  
Knapsack Sprayer             15,000.00  
Farm Tools             15,000.00  
              652,000.00
Profit          1,308,000.00

PROFIT ANALYSIS FOR ONE HECTARE OF MAIZE FARMING VENTURE- SCENARIO 2

Revenue:    
7 tons @ N250,000 per ton          1,750,000.00
Cost:    
Rent of one hectare of farmland             30,000.00  
Fertiliser           157,000.00  
Manure             50,000.00  
Pesticides             65,000.00  
Herbicides             40,000.00  
Hybrid Seeds             40,000.00  
Labour for 4 months           240,000.00  
Knapsack Sprayer             15,000.00  
Farm Tools             15,000.00  
              652,000.00
Profit          1,098,000.00

PROFIT ANALYSIS FOR ONE HECTARE OF MAIZE FARMING VENTURE- SCENARIO 3

Revenue:    
7 tons @ N190,000 per ton          1,330,000.00
Cost:    
Rent of one hectare of farmland             30,000.00  
Fertiliser           157,000.00  
Manure             50,000.00  
Pesticides             65,000.00  
Herbicides             40,000.00  
Hybrid Seeds             40,000.00  
Labour for 4 months           240,000.00  
Knapsack Sprayer             15,000.00  
Farm Tools             15,000.00  
              652,000.00
Profit             678,000.00

Source: https://veggiegrow.ng/cost-of-maize-farming-in-nigeria 

Maize Production in Nigeria

maize production

About 800 million tons of maize was produced globally in the year 2019, with Nigeria producing about 11,000 tons, Nigeria is the largest producer of maize in the Africa, followed by South Africa. In spite of the huge production of maize in Nigeria, Nigeria cannot satisfy local demand of maize. Nigeria does not produce as much sweet corn like maize. Every year, a significant percentage of maize is imported to satisfy local demand in the country.

DATE VALUE CHANGE, %
2008 7,525  
2009 7,358 -2.22%
2010 7,677 4.34%
2011 8,878 15.64%
2012 8,695 -2.06%
2013 8,423 -3.13%
2014 10,059 19.42%
2015 10,562 5.00%
2016 11,548 9.34%
2017 10,420 -9.77%
2018 11,000 5.57%
2019 11,000 0.00%

Source: Knoema

maize farming in nigeria

The northern part of Nigeria produces the largest percentage of maize in the country. Kaduna state is the largest producer of maize in Nigeria, closely followed by Bauchi, Gombe and Nasarawa. All northern states in Nigeria produce a lot of maize every year.

The south western part of Nigeria also produce a significant percentage of maize with Oyo state topping the list of the largest producer of maize in the south western part of Nigeria.

Popular Maize Varieties in Nigeria

maize seeds

Below are some of the most popular maize varieties planted in Nigeria.

Pioneer Corn Seed – Hybrid

Dupont Pioneer Hybrid maize seed is one of the most popular hybrid maize seeds in Nigeria. Pioneer hybrid maize seeds can grow in all regions in Nigeria. It has good tolerances and resistance to a lot of pests and diseases that affects corn plants. Hybrid pioneer seeds can also tolerate crowding unlike other maize varieties. This maize variety can yield up to 12 tons per hectare. We tried this variety and we had a yield of 7.6 tons per hectare. I have seen local farmers getting between 5-7 tons per hectare cultivating this variety in Kaduna. This variety comes in the yellow and white form.

Dekalb Maize Seeds – Hybrid

The following are the hybrid Dekalb Maize Seeds in Nigeria:

DK 920

DK 818

DK 234

DK 777

Seedco – Hybrid

There are a number of hybrid maize seeds bred and marketed by SeedCo in Nigeria. The following are some of the maize varieties of Seedco:

SC 645: White Maize Hybrid, 7-8 Tons/Ha Yield Potential, Medium maturing hybrid (100 – 110 days). This variety had good disease and heat tolerance. It can be cultivated in the southern and northern guinea savannah.

SC 649: White Maize Hybrid, 8-10 Tons/Ha Yield Potential, Medium maturing hybrid (110 days). It has good disease and pest tolerance and can grow well in all ecological zones of Nigeria.

SC 651: White Maize Hybrid, 6-7 Tons/Ha Yield Potential, Medium Maturity (100 – 110 days). This variety is drought and striga resistant. This variety does well in the rain forest belt of Nigeria and also in the guinea, sudan and sahel savannah areas of Nigeria.

SC 510: Yellow Maize Hybrid, 5-6 Tons/ha yield potential, Early Maturing (90 days). This variety is embedded with Vitamin A. It can tolerate crowding and high population, this can lead to increased yield. It can also do well in the southern rain forest in Nigeria and the southern and northern guinea savannah.

SC 719: White Maize Hybrid, 8 -9 Tons/Ha Yield Potential, Late Maturing (110 -120 days). This variety has long cob. It also has good tolerances to a lot of pests and diseases that affect maize. It can be grown in the southern and northern guinea savannah.

Premier Maize Seeds

Below are the hybrid maize seeds and open pollinated maize seeds bred and marketed by Premier Seeds Nigeria.

Hybrid maize

  • Oba 98 (white, QPM)
  • Oba Super-1 (white)
  • Oba Super-2 (yellow)
  • Oba Super-3 (white)
  • Oba Super-4 (yellow)
  • Oba Super-6 (yellow)
  • Oba Super-7 (white)
  • Oba Super-9 (white)
  • Oba Super-11 (white)
  • Oba Super-13 (white)

Open-pollinated Maize

  • Across 97 (white, striga resistant)
  • Suwan-1 (yellow, DMR)
  • Sammaz 14
  • Sammaz 15
  • Sammaz 16
  • Sammaz 20
  • Sammaz 27
  • Sammaz 38
  • Sammaz 50
maize farming

Profit Analysis of Maize Farming

Maize can be very profitable if you do the right thing. The cost of maize farming should be lesser than the revenue in order to make profit. Having a healthy farmland, planting the right amount of seeds, weeding and the use of adequate fertilisers and pesticides can make your maize farming venture a profitable one.

Profit Analysis for Dry Grains

N600,000 is expected to be earned as revenue from the sale of 6 tons of dried maize from one hectare. Price per ton ranges from N80,000 – N120,000 in Nigeria.

N60,000 is expected to be used for land preparation and planting of maize seeds per hectare, N30,000 for hybrid pioneer seeds per hectare, N20,000 for herbicides and insecticides, N60,000 for fertilisers and N100,000 for labour and other expenses. Total cost for one hectare of maize is N320,000.

Profit expected from one hectare of maize is N280,000. I have seen some farmers who made a profit of N400,000 from one hectare of maize.

corn cultivation in nigeria

Maize Farming for Fresh Cobs

55,000 – 75,000 fresh maize cobs are expected to be harvested from one hectare of maize. Hybrid pioneer maize seeds can yield two cobs per plant.

Let us assume that 70,000 fresh maize cobs will be harvested from one hectare of maize. If you sell each fresh cob for N15, you will earn a sales revenue of N1,050,000 from your one hectare maize farmland.

N60,000 is expected to be used for land preparation and planting of maize seeds per hectare, N30,000 for hybrid pioneer seeds per hectare, N20,000 for herbicides and insecticides, N60,000 for fertilisers and N100,000 for labour and other expenses. Total cost for one hectare of maize is N320,000.

Profit from one hectare of maize farm if you sell fresh maize cobs will be N730,000.

Selling fresh maize cobs is far more profitable; however, your farm must be near a big town or city.

Dry Season Maize Farming in Nigeria

Dry season maize farming in Nigeria is far more profitable than cultivating the maize in the rainy season. However, there is a catch, how will you get adequate water for your dry season maize farming? Irrigation is the answer; you need to provide irrigation facilities for your maize farm in order to reap the benefits of dry season maize farming in Nigeria.

The Federal Government of Nigeria has a lot of schemes used to support dry season farmers in Nigeria. They provide or subsidize all the inputs needed for maize farming in the dry season for some farmers. However, you are advised not to rely on the government, you can act smart by using irrigation and reap good profit in the dry season.

Do you know that the price of fresh maize cobs in the dry season in Nigeria is 2-3 times the price in the rainy season, why, because, few maize farmers cultivate maize in the dry season.

Dry maize grains are also more expensive in the dry season because of the scarcity in the market.

Government Interventions in Maize Farming

The Nigerian government has intervened in maize farming using several programs, some of the programs are explained below:

CBN/NIRSAL MFB LOAN

The Central Bank of Nigeria in conjunction with NIRSAL Microfinance Bank provides loans of less than N10 million to intending farmers. Maize farmers can benefit from this loan as the loan has a single digit lending rate. It also has a moratorium.

CBN ANCHOR BORROWERS SCHEME

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) anchor borrowers’ scheme is used to finance farmers in groups so that they will have all the inputs needed by them to reap a bountiful harvest. Maize farmers are eligible to apply for loans under this scheme.

IFAD SCHEME

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is a body that provides funding and support to rural farmers. Maize farmers in Nigeria can benefit from this scheme.

FADAMA Scheme

FADAMA is supported by the World Bank. This scheme supports farmers through the provision of irrigation facilities.

Health Benefits of Maize or Corn

The following are the health benefits of consuming maize or corn:

A 100 grams of boiled yellow corn has 73% of water, 3.4 grams of protein, 21 grams of carb, 4.5 grams of sugar, 2.4 grams of fibre and 1.5 grams of fat.

Corn has carbohydrate which provides energy for the body.

Maize has fibre which improves the digestive health. A good consumption of fibre can improve the quantity of beneficial microbes in the gut.

Though corn is rich in carb, it also has protein.

Maize or corn has vitamins and minerals like manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and copper. These minerals and vitamins are beneficial to the human body.

Corn has some antioxidants which can help in the prevention of cancer and killing of free radicals.

Source: Healthline

Foods that can be derived from maize or corn

The following are some of the foods that can be derived from maize or corn in Nigeria:

Roasted Corn

roasted corn

This is a delicacy in Nigeria and a lot of countries. Roasted corn is fresh corn roasted on an oven.

In Nigeria, charcoal is usually used in roasting fresh corns when they are in season. People selling roasted corns are common sight on Nigerian roads when corn is in season.

Selling freshly harvested corn has a better ROI than selling dried maize as grains. There are farmers who make better returns on the selling of fresh corn cobs than selling their harvested produce as dried grains.

Corn Starch

corn starch

Also called maize starch, this is a material derived from the kernel of corn. Maize starch is used as thickener in soups and sauces.

Corn starch is also used for the production of corn syrup and other types of sugar.

Corn starch can also be used in the production of some types of adhesives. Corn starch can also be used in the production of custard and baby food.

Maize Pap

corn pap

This is a type of food consumed by a lot of people in Nigeria and other African and Asian countries.

Maize pap is made by fermenting soaked maize grains. The maize grains are left in water for some days, then they are milled and sieved.

Hot water is used in making corn pap. Maize pap is purely starch. It is also used in the making of baby foods.

In some towns and villages in Nigeria, maize pap is usually consumed in the morning. It can also be cooled and solidified into another type of food called Eko or Agidi.

Tuwo

This is a thick pudding made from maize or rice in Nigeria. It is a local delicacy highly favoured by the Hausa and Fulani people in Nigeria.

Tuwo is also eaten by the people of Niger and Chad Republics.

Tuwo is like Pounded Yam, Eba and Fufu. It is usually eaten with soups.

How Many Bags of Maize Can an Acre or Hectare Produce

The number of bags of maize that can be produced per acre of farmland depends on a number of factors, ditto the number of bags of maize that can be produced per hectare.

The factors are:

  • Soil Fertility
  • Soil pH
  • Types of Seeds Planted
  • Level of Weeds
  • Pests and Diseases
  • Agronomic Practices implemented etc.

Mallam Yinus, a maize farmer in Nigeria got 91 bags of maize per hectare. Mallam Yinus implemented the below strategies to achieve this yield:

  • Good land preparation
  • Use of hybrid seeds
  • Use of drip irrigation
  • Optimum plant population etc

Botany, Physiology and Genetics of Maize

The maize plant usually has a height of about 3 metres. There are strains that grow up to 12 metres, though these strains are not common.

The stem of the maize plant consists of about 20 internodes with each internode growing to about 18 cm in length. The leaves of maize plants grow at the opposite sides of the stem. The leaves of maize plant can grow above 110 cm in length and about 8.5 cm in width.

For more information on the botany, physiology and genetics of maize, please read here.

Questions and Answers

a) Question: Where can I get good maize seeds in Nigeria?

Answer: You can get good maize seeds or varieties from us.

b) Question: Can I use drip irrigation for maize farming?

Answer: Yes, you can use drip irrigation for maize farming. Drip irrigation can increase your maize crop yield by as much as 100%

c) Question: Is maize farming profitable?

Answer: The prices of maize in Nigeria has increased year in, year out. The Ukraine-Russia war will also make the prices of this commodity skyrocket. Yes, maize farming is very profitable.

d) Question: When is the peak time for the price of maize in Nigeria

Answer: The dry season months of December to March is the peak time for the price of maize in Nigeria. Prices this time are usually double or triple the prices at other times of the year.

e) Question: What is the typical yield of maize?

Answer: The average yield of maize per hectare of the local farmer in Nigeria is 1.5 – 2 tons per hectare. However, yield can be up to 7 – 12 tons per hectare if hybrid seeds, drip irrigation and good fertilizers and pesticides are used.

f) Question: What fertilizers are the best for maize farming in Nigeria?

Answer: Urea and NPK fertilizers are some of the most appropriate fertilizers for the growing of maize. However, you should do a soil test before applying any fertilizer to your maize crop.

Should you need more information on maize farming in Nigeria, please contact us on 08025141924 or sales@veggiegrow.ng.  

 

Ayo Akinfolarin
 

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