Among the maize growing countries, India rank 4th in area and 7th in production, representing around 4% of the world maize area and 2% of total production. During 2018-19 in India, the maize area has reached to 9.2 million ha (DACNET, 2020). During 1950-51 India used to produce 1.73 million MT maize, which has increased to 27.8 million MT by 2018-19, recording close to 16 times increase in production. The average productivity during the period has increased by 5.42 times from 547 kg/ha to 2965 kg/ha, while the area increased nearly by three times. Though the productivity in India is almost half of the world the average per day productivity of Indian maize is at par with many lead maize producing countries.
In India, maize is principally grown in two seasons, rainy (kharif) and winter (rabi). Kharif maize represents around 83% of maize area in India, while rabi maize correspond to 17% maize area. Over 70% of kharif maize area is grown under the rainfed condition with a prevalence of many biotic and abiotic stresses. The stress prone ecology contributes towards lower productivity of kharif maize (2706 kg/ha) as compared to rabi maize (4436 kg/ha), which is predominantly grown under assured ecosystem. In recent past spring maize area is also growing quite fast in north western parts of the country, in the states of Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh. Unfortunately, the area and production data of spring maize is not well documented. However, informal estimates suggest the area to be around 150 thousand ha. Among cereals maize has highest growth rate in terms of area and productivity. Since 2010 maize productivity in India is increasing @ over 50 kg/ha/year, which is the highest among food crops.
Among Indian states Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka has highest area under maize (15% each) followed by Maharashtra (10%), Rajasthan (9%), Uttar Pradesh (8%) and others. After Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh Bihar is the highest maize producer. Andhra Pradesh is having the highest state productivity. Some districts like Krishna, West Godavari etc. records as high as 12 t/ha productivity.
Bulk of the maize production in India, approximately 47%, is used as poultry feed. Of the rest of the produce, 13% is used as livestock feed and food purpose each, 12% for industrial purposes, 14% in starch industry, 7% as processed food, and 6% for export and other purposes.