Maize belongs to the Poaceae family and performs C4 photosynthesis. It is the third most important grain crop world-wide after wheat and rice. Scientific evidence suggest a single domestication event of maize in southern Mexico around 9000 years ago.
In 2018 in the EU 67.4 million tonnes of maize grain was produced (4th largest production region globally, statista.com). A further 229 million tonnes of ‘green’ maize (Eurostat) was harvested as an energy rich feed for livestock.
Target production increases of 10% due to enhanced photosynthesis have been estimated to increase value by up to €18 billion.