Common name          Maize

Scientific name          Zea mays

Family name          Cereal

Shona          Chibage

Ndebele          Umumbu

Zea mays, corn or maize, is an annual grass in the Poaceae (grass family) that originated in Central America and is one of the top three cereal crops grown in the world. It is grown in temperate and tropical countries. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain the grain – seeds called kernels. Maize (white, orange, yellow or in ornamental colours) as freshly harvested cobs is used for human consumption (in raw and cooked forms), or may be dried and roasted and eaten as a snack (maputi, as popped or unpopped kernels) or partially ground into meal rice or fully ground into flour or maize meal.

Maize oil, obtained from the grain, is used in cooking as well as many industrial processes, and cornstarch from processed grain is used as a thickener in sauces and puddings. Cornstarch can be further processed enzymatically to make high-fructose corn syrup, which has become widely used to replace sugar (sucrose) as an inexpensive sweetener in processed food and beverage products.

In addition to use as a human food, the seed head and whole plant are used as forage and silage, an important source of feed for livestock.

Maize has increasingly become important as a biofuel ingredient, the oil being processed into bio-diesel and the processed kennels being processed, fermented and distilled into ethanol, which is then blended with petroleum-based derivatives in various proportions for use as fuel.

The iQFarmer Maize Manual will introduce you to profitable maize farming, covering:

  1. Varieties and Types
  2. Planting Materials
  3. Land Preparation and Planting
  4. Production Management: weed control, fertilisation, irrigation
  5. Disease and Pest Control
  6. Physiological Disorders
  7. Harvesting and Handling
  8. Value Addition
  9. Climate-Smart Agricultural Practices (CSAP)
  10. Maize Economics and Entrepreneurship

You will also find a program on maize production which we hope will help you to select the most cost-effective solutions and profitable combinations in setting up a profitable agricultural enterprise.