Maize is the most important cereal crop in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and an important staple food for more than 1.2 billion people in SSA and Latin America. It is grown throughout the temperate, sub-tropical and tropical regions of the world at altitudes from 0 to 3,200 m above sea level.
The economic importance of maize ranges from its use as human food, animal feed and as raw material for a large number of industrial products. All parts of the crop can be used for food and non-food products. In Africa, most of the maize production is used for human consumption.
Maize production in Africa is confronted with a number of challenges: Production-limiting factors include low soil nutrient supply, Striga parasitism, diseases, pests and poor management practices. Abiotic constraints encompass droughts, flooding, salinity, metal toxicity and high and low temperatures. In the future, increasing drought periods will likely cause problems for maize production in Africa.
text: Kwadwo Obeng-Antwi