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Maize/Corn (Zea Mays) after the Taino word “mahiz” commonly known as corn, is widely cultivated throughout the world and is a large grain plant first domesticated 10,000 years ago.
Maize grows in diverse climates. Sugar-rich varieties called sweet corn are usually grown for human consumption, while field corn varieties are used for animal feed and chemical feedstock. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable or starch.
According to FAO, by 2050, world annual demand for maize, rice and wheat is expected to reach some 3.3 billion tons, or 800 million tons more than 2014’s record combined harvest. Furthermore a study conducted by FAO and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) estimates that global consumption of cereals will increase by 390 million tons between 2014 and 2024. Toward sustainable cereal production, farming systems need to be reconfigured worldwide for sustainable intensification.
Production in CARICOM Countries
The crop is grown in most territories for domestic consumption. The four main producers of corn in CARICOM are:
A 2005 study commissioned by the CARICOM Regional Transformation Programme for Agriculture entitled “Review of Agricultural Policies: A Case Study of Belize” reported that efficiency and competitiveness were key to maintain market share locally.
The study also highlighted a need to:
Why invest in corn production?