Booming Maize Demand and Industry Opportunity in Asia

A woman in Bangladesh grinds maize to prepare food for her family

A woman in Bangladesh grinds maize to prepare food for her family

Maize agronomists from Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia and Pakistan jointly published a study examining the outlook for maize in their respective countries. The study, “Assessment of the Maize Situation, Outlook and Opportunities in Asia,” by Ranjit Kumar, K. Srinivas, M.A. Monayem Miah, Hassnain Shah, Hadijah A. Dahlan and Huanguang Qiu, was published in the extended summaries compilation for the Asia Maize Conference and Expert Consultation: “Maize for Feed, Nutrition and Environmental Security.”

The study described the increasing importance of maize in Asia, which is the second-most important crop in the region after rice. “Between now and 2050, estimated demand for maize in the developing world will double, fueled by population growth and changing diets,” the study predicted. Combined, these two demand factors have historically shifted producers from subsistence farmers to value chain suppliers. Coupled with intermediaries who play a role in communicating demand to rural areas while providing services for the flow of inputs and outputs, farmers respond with greater intensification of farm technology to improve production and meet market demand and quality standards.
Demand for diversified foods such as poultry, livestock and fish–fed mainly by maize–has the feed and wet milling industries scrambling as demand has escalated. Demand is also driven by industrial end-uses for derivatives such as dextrose, maltose and maize oil, as well as maize starch for paper-making, textiles, food processing, pharmaceuticals, building materials and casting. Farmers are meeting demand by adopting hybrid seed at rates that range between 35 percent to almost 100 percent in different Asian countries.
This escalating demand for maize across the region has stimulated investment by newly-industrialized economies in Asia. Bangladesh, India, Indonesia and Pakistan are front-runners for investments that can build competitive advantages to meet domestic and export market demands. The authors recognize that Asia’s maize market is rapidly expanding and describe economic factors that reinforce the opportunity for industry growth.
The study is based in part on the findings of the CRP-MAIZE funded project on “Assessment of the maize situation, outlook and investment opportunities to ensure food security in India,” Kumar R., Srinivas K. and Sivaramane N., (2013).
Link to the study: Kumar, R., Srinivas, K., Monayem Miah, M.A., Shah, H., Dahlan, H.A., Qiu, H.G., Assessment of the Maize Situation, Outlook and Opportunities in Asia (2014)
The study can be found online in the CIMMYT Repository in the recently uploaded 12th Asian Maize Conference and Expert Consultation on maize for food, feed, nutrition; and environmental security; Bangkok (Thailand), 30-1 Aug-Nov 2014 : extended summaries
As well as the 12th Asian Maize Conference and Expert Consultation on maize for food, feed, nutrition; and environmental security; Bangkok (Thailand), 30-1 Aug-Nov 2014: abstracts

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