In recent years, maize cropping in Indonesia has been increasing rapidly at 20-30 per cent per annum, particularly in the lowlands. Yet more areas have the potential for development of maize farming. This paper presents the results of integrated maize management trials conducted in lowland areas of Sidrap regency in South Sulawesi during the dry seasons of 2006 and 2007. Data was gathered through Rural Participatory Appraisals, respondent interviews and secondary data collection. The results show that planting open-pollinated varieties of maize (Lamuru and Srikandi Kuning-1) produced an average of 4-4.5 t/ha-1 with a benefit of Rp. 4.6 million ha-1 and a return:cost ratio of 2.31. This shows the marked promise of developing maize in the rainfed lowlands. The authors propose that five component technologies need to be implemented by farmers for integrated management of maize production, namely high-yielding open-pollinated varieties, quality seed, appropriate plant spacing, nitrogen fertilization and water channel construction. The authors conclude that more emphasis should be placed on planting maize in Indonesia's rainfed lowlands, especially since technology is available to enhance productivity and cost efficiency.

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