Maize Case Study

1279 Words 6 Pages
Chapter one
1.0 Introduction
1.1 Background information and rationale
Maize (Zea Mays L.) is one the most important cereal crop in sub-Saharan Africa and Zimbabwe. According to FAO statistics the total amount of maize produced worldwide is estimated at 785 million tons and United States of America is the largest producer and contributing 42%, Africa produces 6.5% with Nigeria being the largest African producer with nearly 8 million tons, followed by South Africa. Based on area and production, maize is the 3rdmost important cereal crop after wheat and rice in world. Africa imports 28% of the required maize from countries outside the continent (FAO 2007) .In Zimbabwe production of maize has been declining since 1984 when production reached a peak of 3000 metric tonnes. The constraints leading to low yields in maize production are pest pressure, weeds, diseases and
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(Heisey and Mwangi. 1996). The highest yields of maize in Zimbabwe are realized when adequate fertilizer is applied. All plants need nitrogen (N) to grow as it is used in the synthesis of precursor molecules such as DNA, and forms back-born of protein molecules necessary for growth. Maize requires nitrogenous fertilizers and the nitrogen is taken up by the crop in the form of ammonium NH4+ and nitrate form

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