Maize in Ghana: An Overview of Cultivation to Processing
Maize (Zea mays L.) cultivation in Ghana has been ongoing for centuries. Maize production in Ghana, is predominantly done under rain-fed conditions by poorly resourced smallholder farmers. The agro-ecological zones for maize cultivation in Ghana can be mainly grouped into four; Coastal savannah zone, forest zone, transition zone and Guinea savannah zone. Maize accounts for 50% of the total cereal production in Ghana, with reported postharvest losses between 5% and 70%. Improving food security through a reduction of post-harvest losses is imperative for meeting current development objectives. Stored maize is attacked by 20 different species of insect pests including the maize weevil, Sitophilus zeamais (Mots.). There are traditional techniques still in use for maize storage (drying in field, on platform, on ground, and use of mud silos) and modern techniques (using metal silos, solar dryers, chemical, hermetic technique and Purdue Improved Drying Stove). There are various methods used in the maize shelling and storage. Purchasing of modern equipment for shelling and conditioning is highly unaffordable by these subsistence farmers. The lack of commercial or industrial processing of maize, and improper storage facilities is causing immense food losses and insecurity in Ghana. Due to this farmers are compelled to sell their bumper harvest at low prices, and those in barns and warehouses get rotten. The purpose of this paper was to review literature on the cultivation, post-harvest handling, and processing of maize grains in Ghana.
This paper is from 2016 ASABE Annual International Meeting, Paper No. 162460492, pages 1-16 (doi: 10.13031/aim.20162460492). St. Joseph, Mich.: ASABE. Posted with permission.