Commodities | Ghana Commodity Exchange

Maize image


Maize, also known as corn, has become a staple food in all parts of the world with total production surpassing that of rice or wheat. It is a cereal grain first domesticated by indigenous peoples in southern Mexico about 10,000 years ago. The maize crop serves a number of purposes, from being used as animal feed or for products such as corn starch and corn syrup. Indeed, these other purposes drive most of the world’s maize trade, with human consumption accounting for a small part of total maize production. Maize can also grow in a wide variety of climate conditions, proving its versatility in more ways than one.

While the six major types of maize are dent corn; flint corn; pod corn; popcorn; flour corn; and sweet corn, there are other subspecies of maize; the most prevalent being white and yellow maize.

Maize is the number one crop in terms of area planted and accounts for 50-60% of total cereal production, while also being the second largest commodity crop in the country after cocoa. Maize is one of the most important crops for Ghana’s agricultural sector and for food security. Despite this, the average maize yield in Ghana remains one of the lowest in the world, and much lower than the average for sub Saharan Africa. Indeed the maize average yield registered by the Ministry of Agriculture in 2013 was 1.7 metric tonne per hectare against an estimated achievable yield of around 6 metric tonnes per hectare.

Maize has historically been a volatile crop with steady variations in prices from season to season. These variations may be attributed to a number of factors including weather patterns, the rate of domestic supply and trends in the global maize demand and supply situations. Further, these variations are also reflected between different varieties and grades of maize.