This study ascertained factors influencing adoption of improved maize seed varieties in three local government areas of Kaduna State, North-central Nigeria. It collected cross-sectional data for a sample of 180 randomly selected farming households across three local government areas of the State in 2015/16. Both descriptive and inferential analyses were performed on the data. The descriptive statistics differentiated adopters from non-adopters, while the inferential analysis involved estimation of a logit model to determine factors driving adoption of improved maize seed varieties in the study areas. The results of the descriptive analysis show significant mean differences between adopters and non-adopters regarding several farm household characteristics. The model results reveals that adoption of improved maize seed varieties among the households was positively influenced by age, household size, level of education, farming experience, labour availability, contacts with extension agents, farm size, off-farm income and membership of associations. Thus, the study concluded that improving farmers’ education, expanding coverage and depth of extension services and strengthening farmer associations are useful policy actions for promoting adoption of improved maize varieties. It is also important to address availability, accessibility and affordability issues constraining adoption, enhance credit access and mitigate risk perceptions. The link between researchers and innovators and the farmers who are the off-takers of their outputs should be reinforced to increase maize productivity in order to satisfy national demand and promote food security.
Keywords: adoption, determinants, Kaduna State, smallholder farmers, maize