Among the maize growing countries India rank 4th in area and 7th in production. In India, maize is principally grown in two seasons, rainy (kharif) and winter (rabi). 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. During 2018-19, the maize area has reached to 9.2 million ha (DACNET, 2020). In India, the total maize produced during 1950-51 was around 1.73 million MT, which has increased to 27.8 million MT by 2018-19 which is close to 16 times higher. The average productivity during the period has increased by 5.42 times to 2965 kg/ha from 547 kg/ha, while area increased nearly by 3 times. However, the per day productivity of Indian maize is at par with world per day productivity.
In 2018-19, the rabi maize account for 16% area while average yield (4.2 t/ha) is comparable to many temperate countries, and some districts like Krishna, West Godavari etc. records as high as 12 t/ha productivity. However, kharif maize representing nearly 82% of maize area has low productivity (2.2 t/ha) due to predominantly rainfed ecosystem. Nearly 70% of the total maize in India is grown in stress-prone/marginal conditions. The kharif maize grown under stress-grown ecologies in nearly 200 districts are major target to increase national average productivity.