It emerges tribals’ favourite because of assured returns
Maize grain is also in heavy demand for poultry feed
Markets flooded with fresh stocks
VISAKHAPATNAM: Several tribals are raising maize crop in Visakhapatnam district due to assured returns with low investment.
The corn cob, which was not known in the agency belt a decade ago, are now made in good quantity in Chintapalli, G.K. Veedhi, Koyyuru, Sileru and other mandals. Maize is grown in an area of 7,000 hectares in the agency. Due to rain-fed irrigation, it is sown in rabi in the hills while it is grown in Anandapuram, Padmanabham, Bhimili, Anakapalle and other plain mandals in kharif.
Due to several plus points like lack of pest influence, easy availability of hybrid varieties and 50 per cent subsidy being offered by the Agriculture Department, more farmers are shifting from groundnut and paddy to maize and sunflower cultivation.
“Compared to investment, the returns in maize crop is also quite promising,” Joint Director of Agriculture B. Karunakar told The Hindu.
In Sileru area, there is always a bumper crop throughout the year due to availability of water. The crop also goes to the Godavari and other districts for consumption. Maize grain is also in heavy demand for poultry feed.
Now with kharif crop out of the fields from the plains, the markets in the city are flooded with fresh stocks. While each corn stick fetches about 50 paise to Re. 1 to the farmer, it is being sold for Rs.2 to Rs.4 to the consumers depending on the quality and size.
The main requisite for maize is grain formation wherein a lot of moisture is required. The farmyard manure should also be mixed in the soil along with urea 45 to 50 days after sowing the crop.
An acre will involve an investment of Rs.4,000 and assures a return of Rs.8,000 to Rs.9,000. “The farmers are preferring maize as it does not involve any wastage,” said Ch. Ananda Kumar, a Narsipatnam-based NGO worker.