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MAIZE FARMING IN GHANA

Maize (Zea mays), is a versatile crop which grows across a broad range of agro ecological zone.
It is also an important component of Ghanaian meals and the livestock feed sector as well as a
substitute for the brewing industry. Maize is the largest staple crop in Ghana and accounts for
over 50% of total cereal production, maize represents the second largest commodity crop in the
country after cocoa. Maize is one of the most important crops for Ghana’s agricultural sector and
for food security. For rain fed maize cultivation, Farmers in Southern Ghana have two farming
seasons major season for maize cultivation begins in mid-May whiles the minor season begins in
last week of August. Farmers in Northern Ghana have a unimodal rainfall pattern hence has only
one farming season for maize which begins in July. If you are considering cultivating maize in
Ghana, here is how your crop budget will look like using 2020 Planting for Food and Job input prices.

1. LAND
If you own the land on which you will be cultivating on is for your family or you own it there cost of land
will be free for you. But for farmers who do not own the lands on which they cultivate on a rental price
between the range of GHS30 to GHS100 for an acre depending on which part of Ghana, quality of land or
land lease agreement you have with your landowner. However, there are several factors you need to
consider before settling on which location or crop to cultivate on the land.
2. LAND PREPARATION
Unless you are practicing conservation agricultural or No till farming, Cost of land preparation may
include Plowing and/or harrowing. Currently cost of Plowing ranges between GHS65 to GHS120 whiles
harrowing range between GHS30 to GHS50 for an acre.
3. COST OF SEED
Before settling on whether you will be cultivating on an Open-Pollinated Varieties or Hybrid Variety
seed, consider the characteristics of the seed and be sure it fits the location of your land. Currently OPV
cost GHS3/KG whiles hybrid seed cost GHS5/KG and you will need 9kg or 10kg per an acre which will
bring the total cost of seed to GHS30 or GHS50 per acre.
4. COST OF SOWING
Manual sowing of an acre of maize farm can cost between GHS40 to 60,if you own a tractor and planter
cost of planting with cost you GHS20 for fuel while renting a tractor and planter to sow your maize will
cost you GHS30 to GHS45 for an acre.
5. WEED CONTROL
Chemical Weed Control
Non-Selective weedicide cost between GH14 to GHS20 for a litter depending on the brand you choose to
purchase, location of purchase or volume of purchase. A litter of Non-Selective weedicide is enough for
an acre of land, this can be applied before or after plowing or before planting. For 1 st and 2 nd weed control
after planting your maize using Selective weedicide or Herbicides cost between GHS35 to GHS560 for a
litter which is enough for an acre of maize farm. However, depending on the time on cultivation or how
well the Nonselective weedicide was applied, 2 nd application of herbicide can be avoided which will

reduce your cost of production significantly. Application of herbicide cost between GHS5 to GHS10 for
each acre. Farmer should ensure to use compliant herbicides, use only well-trained herbicide applicators
and use the right quantity or measure of herbicide since most herbicide is harmful to crop or humans if
applied in excess.
Manual Weed Control
Farmers expectedly organic maize farmers should expect to invest GHS40 to GHS 70 on an acre but
farmers have to ensure to use experienced labors so as not to damage the roots of the maize plants.
6. COST OF FERTILIZER
Using Inorganic Fertilizer
Depending on type of seed used and soil fertility, an NPK and Urea ratio of 4:0, 2:2, 2:1, 3:1 or 4:1 are
used by various farmers, however using the widely used is the 2:1 ratio, two 50kg bags of NPK and one
50kg bag of Urea costing GHS84 and GHS80 per bag respectively. Therefore, the total cost of fertilizer
will be GHS248 for an acre.
Using Compost or Organic liquid Fertilizer
For organic farmers 10 bags of 50kg Compost costing GHS30 per bag or 5 litters of organic Liquid
fertilizer costing GHS40 per litter is enough for both first and second fertilizer application, which puts the
total cost at GHS300 per acre if compost is used whiles using organic liquid fertilizer will cost GHS200
for an acre of maize farm.
7. COST OF FERTILIZER APPLICATION
If using an inorganic fertilizer of compost, 1 st fertilizer and 2 nd fertilizer application will cost GHS40 to
GHS100 each whiles if using liquid organic fertilizer, a farmer can send GHS5 to GHS10 per acre.
Farmers should ensure they uses experienced labor this will enable equal distribution to each maize crop.
8. COST OF HARVESTING
Harvesting of an acre maize farm cost between GHS60 to GHS100 per acre. During harvesting if your
total land size is above 5 acres harvested maize should be put in heaps at strategic locations in the farm.
Harvesting should be well supervised, so they do not miss maize cops behind them.
9. COST OF MECHANICAL PROCESSING – THRESHING
If the total acreages under cultivation are huge, farmer can negotiate for a reduced price, most threshing
services charge base on 10% principles and payment can be in cash or kind (with maize) or both.
Therefore, if the total of 10 bags of maize are threshed the operator takes 1 bag or GHS100 as payment of
service.
10. TRANSPORTATION OF MAIZE TO STORAGE
Unless there are off takers buying the maize produced at farm gate, the maize will have to be transported
to a storeroom or warehouse for storage. Depending on how far farm is from the storeroom or warehouse
and volume of maize to be transported cost of transportation could cost GHS3 to GHS7 per 100kg bag.
PROFIT AND RETURN ON INVESTMENT OF A MAIZE FARM.

The average amount spent on an acre of maize farm will cost about GHS900, therefore with an average
yield of 1500kg (15 bags of 100kg or Cocoa sack/size 4 sack) and if the farmer sells a bag at GHS100.
The total profit of an acre of maize farm will be;
Profit= Total number of bags harvested *Sell price per bag – Amount invested
Profit= 15 bags *GHS100 – GHS900
Profit = GHS1500 – GHS900
Profit = GHS 600.
%Return on Investment (ROI) = GHS600/GHS900*100%
ROI = 0.667*100%
ROI = 66.7%
Depending on which seed varieties you cultivate, maize usually takes 90 days to 120 days to harvest. Also
unless you have a purchasing contract between a buyer at a predetermined price before production, then
to get the best price for your maize there is sometimes a 20 days to 60 days waiting and marketing period
from harvest to cash and these must be factored into your timelines when planning to farm maize.
How profitable a maize farm is depending on,
1. Total amount invested
2. Total crop yield
3. Selling price of Maize
To get the highest return on investing, contact FarmerTribe on info@farmertribe.com for technical
assistance on your farm to lower your cost of production, increase your crop yield and get the highest price for your grains.

2 Comments

  • winfred
    March 17, 2021 @ 2:23 pm

    Very informative piece on the cost breakdown for Zea mays cultivation.

  • Ola Williams
    March 29, 2021 @ 7:42 pm

    Great article

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