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The History of Maize from the New World to Africa - Essay Example

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The research essay “The History of Maize from the New World to Africa” seeks to explore a staple crop that originated from the Americas, the maize or corn plant, which has been exported worldwide, widening its geographical distribution…
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The History of Maize from the New World to Africa
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Download file to see previous pages At present efforts are being made in order to increase Africa’s annual local production and at the same time reduce their importation rates since corn is considered to be one of the most important food sources for the people. The History of Maize from the New World to Africa Maize (Zea mays, L.) or more popularly known around the world as corn, is a cereal crop that originated from the New World, now known as the Americas. It is a tall, annual grass, from the family Gramineae, where other important monocot cereal crops such as wheat and rice also belong (Warman, 2003). It is considered to be one of the earliest grains that were borne out of human genetic manipulation, and its high yield was one of the factors that strengthened the early agricultural societies harvesting this crop (McCann, 2005). All of the numerous uses for corn owe it to its high starch content, which can range from being cooked and served as a major carbohydrate source in every meal, to being ground into flour for making chips and bread, to sweets such as desserts or as sources of sweetening agents, and even alcoholic drinks like beer, thus corn shows the flexibility of its products (Warman, 2003). Also, corn is known to have small amounts of minerals such as calcium and iron, even higher than in other cultivated cereals, which adds to the crop’s high carbohydrate content and subsequently, its nutritional value (Mboya, et al., 2011). It is through the wide variety of products that can be made out of corn and rather high nutritional value that made it acceptable in many countries, and its worldwide distribution a success. Among the many areas that have come to learn about planting and harvesting corn, as well as creating a culture that highly utilizes it is Africa, where it was introduced during the time when the Portuguese were still in the process of exploring the New World, as well as beginning to enter into the slave trading business (Maddison, 2007). Starting from a few seeds, the local farmers were able to grow various varieties as well as developing the crops to contain some characteristics that were deemed important, such as having attributes that were similar with locally-grown sorghum (La Fleur, 2012). This initiated a wide acceptance of Africans to a corn corn-cultivating culture and makes it one of their most important staple crops as of date. Thus, the introduction of maize, a New World crop into the African continent and culture was brought upon by the colonial rule of the Portuguese in Southern Africa around the 1500’s, and the successful propagation of the crop in the continent created an economic boost that brought up the culture of planting and consuming maize across Africa, which remains very much alive even today. Origins of the Maize Unlike other grains and cereals which were originally bred from wild ancestors and have undergone minimal changes, the appearance of the maize or corn plant and its cob has been the product of the deliberate intervention of man in its evolution. It is hypothesized that the corn has no wild ancestor, and it has been extinct long before its cultivation began. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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I had an issue with a essay types of works. All until I came across this website and this particular document. Even though "The History of Maize from the New World to Africa" is far from my studies, the structure is so great that I use it all the time as an example for my own works.
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