FAISALABAD-Maize is an important food crop which can not only help to meet national nutritional needs, but also play an effective role in reducing the import bill of various edibles.

This was stated by Dr. Ishtiaq Hussain, Additional General Manager (Training and Adoptive Research), Punjab. Speaking at a meeting of agricultural scientists during the review of “Maize Production Project 2022-23” at the Ayub Agricultural Research Institute (AARI) here the other day, he said that maize was ranked as the third most important food crop after wheat and rice in Pakistan. . Its production not only met the food needs of human beings, but also met the food demand of the poultry sector, while its green crop was a major source of fodder for livestock.

He said Pakistan is experiencing a growth of fungi in its population which has not only increased nutritional needs but also created food security issues. Therefore, it was necessary to focus on promoting maize cultivation, as this crop could play a major role in easily overcoming food security and nutrition issues, he added.

He said a number of maize factories were already operating in Faisalabad, Lahore, Gujranwala, Multan, Sahiwal, Rahim Yar Khan and Rawalpindi where a large number of products were prepared from the maize harvest alone. Pakistan could earn valuable foreign exchange from the export of maize products by introducing the latest technology for its added value, he added.

Ahsan Raza, senior scientist at the AARI Maize Institute, said the maize crop could be grown twice a year. He said his Bahariya crop could be sown in January-February while the appropriate time for his Kharif crop was July-August. Farmers should use seeds of hybrid varieties to get maximum production, he added.

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