Nigeria is one of the largest producers of corn (maize) in Sub-Saharan Africa, producing about 10 million tonnes of maize annually.
Maize is an essential staple food in the Nigerian diet and is a crucial ingredient for many food staples, including bread, brabusco, and corn flakes.
Nigeria is responsible for 9% of the maize supply in Africa, and the industry plays an essential role in the nation’s economy.
History of Nigeria’s Corn Milling Industry
Maize milling in Nigeria has a long history that dates back to the early 19th century when it was introduced by the British.
Maize milling plants historically helped in supporting local farmers by buying their produce, providing finance, and imparting expertise.
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The industry witnessed significant growth in the 1960s when more people migrated to urban areas and the demand for maize-based products increased.
Today, Nigeria has over 100 Maize milling companies.
Importance of Corn Milling Companies To Nigerian Economy
The maize milling companies in Nigeria play a vital role in supporting the Nigerian economy.
They provide jobs and contribute significantly to the country’s GDP, especially in the agricultural sector.
With presence in over 140 countries, 100 service stations, over 30 manufacturing sites, and 25 application centers, Buhler has been an household name in the world of making sophisticated milling machines
Hongdefa based in China is one of the leading provider of durable and long lasting milling machine.
TThese companies also help to stabilize maize prices by providing a guaranteed market for farmers, which encourages more farmers to invest in growing it, thus increasing the country’s maize production.
Here are 20 maize culinaries:
2. Corn tortillas
4. Corn on the cob
8. Cornmeal porridge
9. Corn chowder
10. Corn soup
11. Maize fritters
12. Corn pancakes
13. Maize muffins
14. Corn dogs
15. Maize pudding
16. Maize custard
17. Corn casserole
18. Maize salad
19. Maize salsa
20. Corned beef and corn hash
These are just a few examples of the many culinaries made from maize. It is a versatile grain that can be used in savory and sweet dishes.
It is a popular ingredient not only in Nigerian cuisine but also in many other cuisines worldwide.
Maize Storage Mechanisms
However, the storage of maize can be challenging as it is susceptible to insect infestations, mold, and moisture.
This is why it is essential to use appropriate storage mechanisms to keep it fresh and free of contaminants.
Below are some of the common storage mechanisms:
1. Silos: Silos are large vertical structures used for storing maize. They are made of concrete, metal, or steel and can store up to millions of bushels of corn. Silos protect from weather elements and provide better aeration to the maize.
2. Grain bins: Grain bins are similar to silos but smaller in size, and they are used for storing it on a smaller scale.
They are usually made of galvanized steel and are designed to keep corn fresh and dry.
3. Grain bags: Grain bags are large plastic bags used for the storage of corn on a smaller scale.
They can hold up to several tons and are designed to be airtight, preventing insects and moisture from entering.
4. Barrel storage: This method is commonly used in homes or small farms with limited space.
After proper drying, it is packed in plastic or metal barrels and stored in a cool, dry place.
Barrels help to keep corn dry and protect corn from pests and rodents.
5. Underground storage: Underground storage is another method used for keeping corn fresh.
It involves digging a large pit, lining it with plastic, and covering it with a tarp to keep moisture and pests out.
Maize is stored in the pit, and the temperature remains stable underground, helping to keep the corn fresh for a more extended period.
6. Dry storage: This method of storage involves drying maize to a specific moisture content level and storing it in a dry place, such as a warehouse, garage, or barn. Dry storage helps to keep maize free from mold and pests.
7. Cold storage: Cold storage is a method of storing maize in a temperature-controlled environment.
This is usually done in refrigerators, walk-in coolers or freezers, and the temperature is kept between 32 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This method of storage helps to slow down the natural spoiling of the corn.
In conclusion, corn storage mechanisms are essential to keep corn fresh and maintain its quality.
The choice of maize storage depends on the capacity needed, the storage location, and the duration required.
It’s important to choose the right storage mechanism to protect corn from moisture, insects, and mold, thus ensuring its longevity.
Challenges Facing Modern Corn Milling Companies in Nigeria
The maize milling industry in Nigeria, like many other sectors, faces several challenges.
One major challenge is the inadequate supply of electricity, which hampers the production process and increases the cost of production.
Another challenge is the lack of adequate transportation systems, which makes it difficult for maize milling companies to access remote communities where most farmers reside.
Moreover, maize milling companies in Nigeria face increasing competition from imported maize products from neighboring countries.
This is due to the lower cost of imported maize, which is attributed to the higher yield per hectare compared to locally grown maize.
Maize milling companies in Nigeria play a crucial role in supporting the Nigerian economy and local farmers.
These companies provide jobs, invest in modern technology, and support sustainable farming practices, helping to increase the quality and quantity of maize produced.
Despite the challenges faced by the industry, there is optimism for the future of corn milling in Nigeria, with many companies focusing on innovation and expansion to meet increasing demand for maize-based products.
As consumers, we can support the local economy by buying locally sourced maize products and promoting sustainable farming practices.
We earlier discussed how Nuafus foods launched Masavita– an affordable maize-based product formulated to give the extra nutrients for adults and children at an affordable price.