The land used for maize cultivation in Bangladesh in 2011-12 was about 165,500 hectares, resulting in a total maize production of about 1,018,300MT. The number of maize farmers continues to grow (around 450,000 at the beginning of 2014), and there are an additional estimated 102,000 labourers for harvesting and post harvesting activities involved in the sector. The growth prospect of the sector is very promising because almost 90% of the maize demand comes from poultry and fish feed production and the poultry sector itself is growing at 20% per annum. Moreover, the local production of maize in Bangladesh could meet only 70% national demand for maize, the rest 30% needs to be imported from neighbouring countries.
Katalyst has contributed significantly in developing maize market of Bangladesh especially in the four regions of mainland i.e. Greater Rangpur, Greater Bogra, Greater Rajshahi and Greater Jessore in the first phase. And in the second phase, since 2008, Katalyst worked in char areas of the Jamuna belt, which extends from Kurigram down to Shirajganj. In phase 3, Katalyst is promoting commercial maize cultivation in new geographic areas and in summer (kharif) season.
Katalyst also promoted maize contract farming system under which not only do farmers get help to access to quality inputs, a buy-back guarantee, and a fair price for their produce, Katalyst has also developed credit schemes to enable its contract farmers to get loans to cultivate maize. Increasing maize farming also brings a higher proportion of women into the workforce mostly as labourers than is usual in the agricultural sectors.
By 2017, Katalyst envisions 60,000 farmers will be increasing their income by taking up maize cultivation and improving competitiveness through higher productivity and better market access; this would contribute to reducing import of maize by increasing maize production through vertical as well as horizontal expansion.
Maize Sector Brief- English