Over the past three decades, maize cultivation has become widespread in Lalmonirhat due to the increasing demand for the grain among feed millers, which provides farmers with a guaranteed market and profitable returns. Improved seed availability has enabled farmers to produce 10-12 metric tonnes of maize per hectare, making it three times more profitable than other crops. This shift has resulted in maize becoming a significant cash crop across the country. In the current financial year, farmers have cultivated maize on over 14 lakh acres, compared to 4.87 lakh acres a decade ago. The high demand for maize has led to advance payments from buyers, such as poultry feed manufacturers, directly to farmers.
Maize cultivation has become particularly popular along riverbanks and char lands due to its higher yields compared to other crops in those areas. Currently, around 5 lakh farmers grow maize on approximately 5.50 lakh hectares of land in Bangladesh, with each hectare yielding up to 11 tonnes of maize. The increasing profitability and lower risks associated with maize cultivation have attracted more farmers to engage in its cultivation, leading to financial stability. Despite the growing cultivation, 20 to 30 percent of the domestic demand for maize is still met through imports. However, if the current expansion rate of 10 percent annually continues, Bangladesh may become self-sufficient in maize production within a few years.