Feed The Change #MAIZE
The Many Benefits of Zea mays
MAIZE is absolutely a remarkable crop. By planting just one seed of maize, you get over 500 kernels in return at harvest. A big bang on investment! Maize (Zea mays), also known as corn, is a cereal grain which is used for many different purposes.
Maize grows best in rich loamy or sandy-loam soils in a well-drained area that has a flat or fairly flat landscape. It does not do well in waterlogged land. If the land is not well drained, you could make ridges or mounds to protect the crops from waterlogging.
Because the maize plant loves sunlight, the land has to be in the open and free from any kind of shade (such as tall trees or man-made structures) that prevents sunlight from reaching the planted maize.
The land has to be cleared and tilled before the rainy season starts and the maize should be planted immediately after the land is prepared. If this is not done, weeds may grow fast and compete with the maize for nutrients and sunlight.
It utilises sunlight very effectively and Africa has sunlight in abundance. Maize can grow on a vast array of soils and can survive in different climatic conditions on our continent.
Compared to many other crops, maize is quite easy to produce. However, succeeding in the maize production business requires knowledge and skill.
Maize also matures really fast. From the time it is planted, maize requires only between 90 to 120 days (about 4 months) to reach harvest. This allows it to survive in areas with short periods of rainfall and irregular water supplies.
PESTS AND DISEASES
Like many other commercial crops, the maize is also susceptible to some pests and diseases. Corn worm, stalk borer or stem borer, shoot bug, pink borer, termites and shoot fly are some common pests for the maize plants. Downy mildew, leaf spot, post flowering stalk rot and maydis leaf blight are some common diseases for the maize plants.
Controlling weeds is very important for successful maize farming business. Initially you should remove all the weeds from the area to be used for planting. Mulching can help to control most of the weeds from the field.
USES AND NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS OF MAIZE
Corn is rich in vitamin B constituents, especially thiamin and niacin. Thiamin is essential for maintaining nerve health and cognitive function. Niacin deficiency leads to pellagra; a disease characterized by diarrhoea, dementia, and dermatitis that is commonly observed in malnourished individuals. It is also a good source of pantothenic acid, which is an essential vitamin for carbohydrate, protein, and lipid metabolism in the body.
Corn contains abundant minerals which positively benefit the body in a number of ways. Phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, zinc, iron, and copper are some of the essential nutrients that are found in all varieties of corn. It also contains trace minerals like selenium, which are difficult to find in most normal diets. Phosphorus is essential for regulating normal growth, bone health, and optimal kidney functioning. Magnesium is necessary for maintaining a normal heart rate and for increasing bone mineral density.
Maize, especially the yellow variety, is a rich source of calories and is a staple in many places. This is why, it is often turned to for quick weight gain, and combined with the ease and flexibility of the growing conditions, the high-calorie content makes it vital for the survival of dozens of agricultural nations.
The fibre content of one cup of corn amounts to 18.4% of the daily recommended amount. This aids in alleviating digestive problems such as constipation and haemorrhoids, as well as lowering the risk of colon cancer due to corn being a whole-grain.
Protects Your Heart
Corn oil, in particular, is the best way to improve heart health and this is derived from the fact that corn is close to an optimal fatty acid combination. This will reduce the chances of arteries becoming clogged, lower blood pressure, and minimize the risk of heart attack and stroke.
It helps prevent anaemia caused by a deficiency of vitamins and minerals. It also contains iron, which is one of the essential minerals needed to form new red blood cells; a deficiency of iron is one of the main causes of anaemia as well.
Eye & Skin Care
Yellow corn is a rich source of beta-carotene, which forms vitamin A in the body and is essential for the maintenance of good vision and skin.
Corn starch is used in the manufacturing of many cosmetic products and may also be applied topically to soothe skin rashes and irritation. Its products can be used to replace carcinogenic petroleum products which are major components of many cosmetic preparations. Many of the traditional skin creams contain petroleum jelly as a base material, which can often block pores and make skin conditions even worse.
In summary, Maize can be used as forage, feed for livestock and making silage after fermentation of corn stocks. Maize is used extensively as the main source of calories in animal feeding and feed formulation. Maize gives the highest conversion of dry substance to meat, milk and eggs compared with other cereal grains. Maize can be termed as the versatile and multi-purpose commodity.
Having use your unused portion of land at home for sustainable organic backyard gardening (farming) serves a significance for sustainable diet, environmentally friendly
Feed The Change #BeGreen TOGETHER we can make and take Climate Action NOW beginning at HOME!!John Aggrey (“Farmer Jay”)