Increase in Industrial Demand for Local Maize: A new market for Farmers

Maize is a popular cereal crop in various parts of the world, it has various varieties which can be used for a number of purposes. These uses cannot be overestimated and often leaves the farmer with an option of choosing to sell his/her maize produce fresh or dry.

This article attempts to enlighten maize farmers about the advantages of their products, with an aim of ensuring farmers compare market prices properly before selling their produce. Due to an increase in harvested maize for the market, most farmers get exploited as they seek to quickly recoup investments made on their farm.

Harvested maize can be sold in the market as fresh or dried, fresh maize is used in the preparation of local delicacies while dried maize are usually used in preparing flour or as raw materials for industries.

Market prices for fresh maize are usually determined by market women, depending on a number of factors, such as closeness of market to farms, level of harvest for that year, climate and location e.t.c

Farmers can choose not to harvest their corn fresh and dry maize produce properly before selling them in the market, Large industries frequently purchase dried maize for various uses, such as:

  • For Human Consumption

Nigeria has a huge demand for maize, it’s a cheaper option compared to other cereal such as rice and wheat. Expected increase in population would increase the demand of corn for human consumption.

Items such as Maize flour can be used for bakery products such as bread, rolls, biscuits, doughnuts etc. Maize flour provides an alternative to wheat flour and can be used in making pap, tuwo and local delicacies. Industries that specializes in making food products also purchase corn as raw materials for their products.

  • As raw material for Corn Starch

Maize is used in the preparation of of corn starch, which is a thickening agent used in soups. Additives, agents and ingredients such as Dextrine, Sorbitol, Sorbic acid and lactic acid serve as raw materials for shoe polish, glue, cosmetic and ink are made from corn starch. Corn Starch is also used in producing dry cell batteries, corrugating boards, solid board, card board and paper.

Processed corn starch is frequently imported, and with diversification plans local industries are beginning to order dried maize locally to produce processed corn starch.

As raw material for Corn Syrup

Corn Syrup is used as a sweetener in products, and a good alternative to sugar. Products such as candy, cookies and bread use corn syrup are processed using corn syrup. Corn syrup is also used in the production of textiles.

As raw material for Corn Oil

Refined corn oil is processed from maize and can be used in making cooking oil, margarine, mayonnaise, potatoe chips e.t.c

Preparation of Animal Feed

80% of produced maize in U.S.A is employed for animal feed, the growing demand for meat has led to an increase in maize demand.
Maize has valuable nutrients which can be used in making feeds for livestock, it is usually processed and mixed with a variety of components to make compound feed for livestock or sold to feed mills who grind it as a component for bird feeds. It can also be processed as feed for cows, hogs, cat fish etc.

  • In Preparing Ethanol/ Bio-Ethanol
Nigerians consume beer on a daily basis and in increasing amounts, due to a huge population rise. Lots of companies now source for local materials for production of beer, of which ethanol forms a high quantity.

With increased attention on renewable energy as alternatives to petrol, many developed countries use bio-ethanol in the production of bio-fuel to power cars, trucks and engines.

Industrial uses of maize are numerous, with increased number of industries now sourcing for raw materials from local markets to save costs. Farmers can take advantage of the shortage in foreign exchange to make good money. By properly researching the market, farmers are assured of getting increased revenue for their maize products.

Organizations such as Releaf helps local farmers connect with buyers for their products, ensuring they get better prices. This solution would help reduce exploitation by local farm market