The maize which was introduced in Uganda in 1861 has increased in production due to the increase in demand in both domestic and export markets. The maize is currently being exported to South Sudan, Kenya, Congo, Rwanda, and Tanzania.
The maize crop is largely grown at subsistence level except for a few commercial farmers and is one of the major cash crops in the east and northern regions of Uganda.
The maize sub-sector is estimated to provide a livelihood for about two million Ugandan farm households, thousands of traders and several mill operators. Maize production contributes about 16 per cent of total cash and food crop contribution to Uganda’s national income.
Key maize growing areas
The main maize producing districts include the following:
Uganda produces between 500,000 and 750,000 metric tons of maize.
The maize crop is a major source of income in the districts of Kapchorwa, Mbale, lganga, Masindi and Kasese with about 75-95 per cent marketable surplus.
Varieties of maize
- The main varieties of maize planted in Uganda include the following:
- White star released in 1960
- Western queen released in 1960
- Kawanda composite (A&B) released in 1971
- Longe 1
Uses of maize
- Maize is a staple food for many households
- It is used in the production of animal , poultry and fish feeds
- The surplus maize is sold to get cash.
- It is a good crop for fighting hunger as it is easier to store
- The maize stems can be used to make animal and poultry food.
Challenge to deal with
The maize is grown by small-scale farmers who hardly use improved inputs and lack adequate post harvest equipment. It is important to note the small farmers contribute to over 75 per cent of the marketable maize surplus in Uganda. However each farmer sales the surplus maize on individual basis which results in the farmer fetching low prices. Maize farmers are also disorganized and ill motivated to improve both output and quality of maize grain they produce. There is therefore a need for deliberate government intervention in the maize sector in order to improve both volume and quality of maize.