Sustaining the beneficial effects of maize production in Nigeria: does adoption of short season maize varieties matter?

In order to ensure sustainability of maize production in short-season environments of Nigeria, the Sudan savanna taskforce of Kano–Katsina–Maradi (KKM) Pilot Learning Site promoted short-season maize varieties in 2008 via Innovation Platforms (IPs). In the light of the promoted varieties, we evaluated the adoption and net benefits (productivity and income) of the maize varieties. We used cross-sectional household data elicited from 600 sampled households, double-hurdle model and propensity score matching. There was a remarkable increase in the adoption of short-season maize varieties in 2014 compared to what was obtained in a baseline conducted in 2008. Our empirical findings revealed that the adoption of the short-season maize varieties promoted through the IPs had significant productivity and income increasing effects. This implies that policy interventions to ensure sustainable maize intensification in the face of environmental limitations, such as early and late season drought, should intensify the promotion of short-season varieties in Sudan savannas. This will require well-concerted agricultural extension that can leverage IPs in view of its potentials.