Problems of Planting Maize during its Peak Season

By WaheedOgunjobi

The truth is that maize during peak season is bad business. I do not plant in peak season again. In fact I'm just applying manure on my maize after first wedding. I planted June . But a friend who planted in peak season complained of the market. He only made ,7 k profit in one acre. Except not on this side of the globe. Let's not be deceived the earlier we get other usage for our maize the better.

Let me share my experience . Some three years ago I and some friends of mine planted maize up to 7 acres . We spent fortunes on the land preparation and tendering up to the tune of between 120- 150 k . Unfortunately for us ,our maize got ready at the period of glut like this and we saw hell in the hands of the market women who like someone says are ripping us off as they tend to gain more than the farmers. At the end of the day our almighty market people bought the corn at the rate of 30 cubs and more for 100 and all we could make was a paltry N50,000 . Sure this was a big discouragement and disappointment enough to dissuade one from farming . of course some of my colleagues fled ,but I choose to remain, because I understand the game. I had made Money in agric before and I am confident I will still make more .

What are the lessons ?

1. I learnt not to plant maize alone without mixed cropped with cassava.If we had planted cassava alongside maize on 7 acres then we would have recouped our cash I know. What actually happened was that we had planned to plant both early and late season for maximum benefit ,but the rain during late season that year was scary and we couldn't tag along . So for me ,planting maize exclusively is not an option.



2. I have learnt not to plant in the mad rush period . Everyone that planted during the peak period sure risk glut.This year I am planting late . The maize I planted July last year came out September/ October and the market was fair.Even if rain destroys the maize I will still make a headway with my cassava. I do not really put much hope on maize . Even the cassava I planted July last year I had harvested it as far back as April.



3. I learnt to sell maize dry . This is due to my experience with price of maize during planting season. I was recently involved in supply of maize and the least I could get even from the North was 150k per tonne. Isn't that a good price ? But, this method also have a lot of challenges. If you don't harvest the maize on time , there are some birds that perch on it and can finish the whole farm from my experience. I also tried to self dry the maize but the rain at this period of the year wound be too much to make that possible.This boils down to how do we get the corn to dry as this promises better profit. Through my interaction recently I got to know that there is what they call corn dryer ,but I learnt it is imported. I am still researching on this myself. We need to get it right and protect our investments. Your contributions on this no matter how little will go a long way. Let us rob minds effectively on this. Is it possible for investors to acquire the dryer and commercialise it for small holder farmers to patronise just like the way we go to hatchery to hatch eggs. Together we need to take our destinies in our own hands since government isn't helping much .

WaheedOgunjobi is a journalist, author and budding farmer and can be reached on 08035004741 or e mail waheedogunjobi@gmail.com


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