Contact us

AMIS Secretariat
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00153 Rome, Italy

Tel: (+39) 06 570 53539
Fax: (+39) 06 570 53152
Email: [email protected]

AMIS crops

The initial focus of AMIS is on four grains that are particularly important in international food markets, namely wheat, maize, rice and soybeans. Uniting G20 members (and Spain) plus seven major producers, consumers and exporters of agricultural commodities, AMIS participating countries represent a large share of global production, consumption and trade volumes of those four crops, typically in the range of 80-90 percent.


Maize (also known as corn) is a cereal grain, believed to have been domesticated at least 7,000 years ago when it was grown in Central Mexico. Maize is an annual plant with high productivity and exceptional geographic adaptability. There exist several hybrids of maize, each with their own specific properties and kernel, but maize is generally categorized into two broad groups: yellow maize and white maize, depending on their colour and taste.

Yellow maize constitutes the bulk of world production and international trade. It is grown in northern hemisphere countries where it is traditionally used for animal feed. In addition, it has a wide range of industrial applications, including the production of ethanol. White maize cultivation, which requires more favourable climatic conditions than yellow maize, is mainly produced in the United States, Mexico and in a few countries in southern Africa. It is generally considered a food crop. Production of genetically modified maize has gained ground in recent years and now represent an important share of total production.

More than half of global maize production is concentrated in the United States and China. Overall, AMIS countries account for about 90 percent of the total. Maize is also a main trade commodity, especially for AMIS countries who account for around 95 percent of world exports and more than 60 percent of world imports, respectively.