Maize/Corn in English, Makka in Hindi, Makai in Gujarati, Mekke Jola in Kannada, Makka Solam in Tamil, Mokka Jonna in Telugu.
Maize is grown throughout the year in India. It is predominantly a kharif crop with 70 percent of the area under cultivation in the season. Maize is the third most important cereal crop in India after rice and wheat. It accounts for ~9 per cent of total food grain production in the country. Factors such as adaptability to diverse agro-climatic conditions, lower labour costs and lowering of water table in the rice belt of India have contributed to the increase in acreage.
Nine states viz. Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat account for 85 per cent of India's maize production and 80 per cent of area under cultivation. The predominant rabi maize growing states are Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka.
Most of the maize in India is used in the poultry feed industry. Poultry industry is heavily dependent on maize as it forms 50-60 per cent of the input required for broiler feed and 25 - 35 per cent of the input required for layer feed. Maize is the preferred source of energy in feed when compared with other substitutes due to availability, higher energy and price economics. Poultry feed's share has remained around 45-50 per cent of the total demand for maize in the country over the past 4-5 years.