Government focuses on maize research to boost ethanol production

New Delhi: India plans to significantly increase its use of maize (corn) for ethanol production, aiming to nearly tenfold output over the next five years, three government officials said, reported Hindustan Times.

The Union government has approved a program to acquire maize at federally established minimum support prices (MSP) and distribute it to distilleries, aligning with India’s biofuel requirements.

As part of a sustainable approach, India aims to reduce reliance on sugarcane-based ethanol and increase the use of maize. The Union government has sanctioned new research projects amounting to ₹24.51 crore, as disclosed in documents reviewed by Hindustan Times.

Allocating ₹15.46 crore to the state-run Indian Institute of Maize Research (IIMR), Food Secretary Sanjeev Chopra stated the government’s commitment to increase corn production in areas surrounding ethanol industries. The IIMR will disseminate best-management practices and hybrids across 15 catchment areas in 78 districts spanning 16 states.

Under the directive of the IIMR, scientists are intensifying research efforts to develop climate-resilient high-starch maize hybrids by the financial year 2025-26, backed by a ₹5.32 crore allocation. An additional ₹3.73 crore has been earmarked to scale up the silage or maize feed value chain, according to official documents.


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