How profitable is maize farming in Nigeria

Maize farm

How profitable is maize farming in Nigeria? you may not know how profitable
maize farming can be, unless you invest into maize farm production.

This article will pilot you through the cons and pros of maize farming and it Profitability.

Maize (zea mays) also known as corn is one among the profitable crops in Nigeria, it is a cereal plant of the Gramieae family of grasses

that today constitutes the most widely distributed food in the world.

The history of maize and it’s domestication
can be traced back some 8,000 years,

maize spread across the length and breadth of the Americas, and subsequently to Europe, Africa and Asia. And was first harvested early as 10,000 years ago.

      Maize in Africa 

Maize was brought to Africa around AD 1500. It was introduced to Africa by the portuguese in the 10th century. Having spread to to all corners of the continent

Within a period of 500 years, maize plant has become a popular crop and cultivated by farmers.

Maize is now Africa’s most important and source for cereal crop.

According to Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAOSTAT) about 30% of the calorific intake of people in sub-saharan comes from maize, while wheat accounts for 16% and maize accounts for over 50% of calorific intake.

      Maize in Nigeria

Maize is one of the important grains in Nigeria, not only on the basis of the number of farmers that engaged in it’s cultivation, but also because of it’s economic value.

It is a major important cereal crop cultivated in the rainforest and the derived Savannah zones of Nigeria

Maize has been in the diet of Nigerians for centuries

Maize has become a stable food in many part of the world, including Nigeria. With the total production of maize surpassing that of wheat and rice

In addition to being consumed directly by humans either boiled or roasted.

When maize cultivation started in Nigeria it was first cultivated as a subsistence crop, in small quantity for family survival only.

As time goes on maize farming changed face and operations from subsistence farming to commercial farming

Today maize is planted in lager(commercial) quantity because of it’s profitability, economic value and the demand for the crop in the market.

See also: how to farm soybeans in Nigeria


There are six major types of maize:
πŸ’‘Dent corn: is a type of corn with a high soft starch content.

It is called dent corn because of the small indentation at the crown of each kernel on a rip ear of corn.

πŸ’‘ Flint corn: also known as indian corn or Calico corn, is a variety of corn which the kernel has a hard outer layer to protect the endosperm.

πŸ’‘ Pod corn: is not a wild ancestor of maize, but a mutant that forms leaves around each kernel.

Pod corn forms glumes around each which is cause by mutation at the tunicate locus,

because of it’s bizarre appearance pod corn has religious significance to many native American tribes.

πŸ’‘ Popcorn: is a variety of corn kernel which expands and puffs up when heated.

The same name is used to refers to the foodstuff produced by the expansion.

πŸ’‘ Flour corn: is a variety of corn with a soft starchy endosperm and a thin pericarp.

It is primarily used to make corn flour.

πŸ’‘ sweet corn: is a variety of maize with high sugar content.

Sweet corn is the result of a naturally occurring recessive mutation in the gene which control conversion of sugar to starch inside the endosperm of the corn kernel.

Sweet corn is picked when immature (milk stage) and prepared and eaten as a vegetable, rather than a grain.

  maize cultivation in Nigeria

Maize is highly yielding, ease to process and cost less than other cereal crops.

It is also a versatile crop allowing it to grow across a range of agro ecological zones.

Maize thrives or grow best in a warm climate and is now grown in most of the countries that have suitable climate conditions and land.

Stage 1 land selection:

The land to used for maize farming should be sandy loamy or loamy soil, this types of soil are the best soil for planting maize in Nigeria.

Stage 2 land preparation:

Preparation of land for maize farming has to do with clearing, hallowing, and making of ridges and other means of land preparation for planting,

Ridges making breaks the texture and give room for enough oxygen and enhance manure and fertilizer application.

land preparation can be done using hand method which involves hoe, cutlass and other hand working tools

while machinery tools include use of tractor, disk ploughing, mechanical planter and so on.

Stage 3 planting of seeds:

Planting of maize seeds is done after ridges are made on the farm land, it is planted in April , two – three seeds per hole

the hole in which the seed is planted is covered loosely with a planting spacing of 75cm that is three feets in between rows

and 25cm spacing on the same row.

after planting it takes 80days to 90days to mature depending on the variety.

Stage 4 weed control:

Immediately after four days of planting, apply herbicide in other to get rid of weed off the farm.

It is advisable to apply weed control (herbicide) trice before harvest period

After controlling weeds, the next is fertilizer application.

Fertilizer helps to boost the yield of the crop, fertilizer application is optional it all depends on what you want.

Remember to apply pesticides to manage pests and disease control.

Stage 5 pest and disease control:

Maize is a profitable crop, but for you to earn profitability or be successful in your investment in maize farming

You have to take pest and disease control as your number one priority, by combating every pest and disease known for coursing havoc to maize production

their attack could lead to loss of yield.

Examples of some of the pest (enemies) affecting maize farming are;

β€’ African armyworm

β€’ corn leaf aphid

β€’ common earwig

β€’ corn rootworms

β€’ corn silkfly

β€’ maize weevil

β€’ stalk borer

While that of disease include;

β€’ rust

β€’ corn leaf blight

β€’ maize dwarf mosaic vir us

β€’ maize streak virus

β€’ grey leaf spot

β€’ nematodes

β€’ black kernel rot

There are many more pests and diseases that are enemies of maize farming and production.

Pests and disease can be controlled using chemical.

Stage 6 harvest period:

maize takes 80 to 90 days to become fully mature, once the cob begin to turn brown and start to dry than, the maize is ready for harvest.

Maize can be harvested by hand picking the cob from the stem or by using a harvesting machine


After harvesting your maize from the farm when it is still fresh you can sale it to corn hockers who will in turn sale it to the final consumers as boiled or roasted corn.

Another marketing means to sale maize, which is even the most popular way of maize marketing and distribution

The corn kernels will be sun dried and packed in bags although there are other means of maize measurement

But the highest quantity of corn kernel measurement is in bags

Corn kernels carried in bags Profitability of maize

how profitable is maize farming in Nigeria check out this survey;
As at the time of publish of this article,

the following were the selling price of maize in Nigeria.

a bag of maize kernels cost #13,500

a basin of maize kernels cost #5,500

a costard rubber medium size cost #500

a module of corn cost #250

Please note that the above values and measurement may change due to season and location.

 Profitability of maize production in Nigeria

Maize has risen to becoming a commercial crop on which many agro-based industries depend on as raw materials.

Maize cultivation and processing are derived by the following productions:


Maize constitute a stable food in many places of the world, with Nigeria not being an exception.

It is used to produce cornstarch, cornbread, the popular pap also known as akamu and many more body building foods derived from maize production.

       Livestock feed

Maize is a major source of animal/ livestock feed, it is fed to livestock in various ways, the dried kernels as grains or grand and mixed with other source to form a solid feed.


Maize is processed into alcoholic beverages like bourbon whiskey and as chemical feedstocks

Maize is also used in making ethanol and other Bio-fuels.

   Raw materials for industry

Starch from maize can used to make plastic, fabric, and many other products.

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