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Gender and innovation in agriculture: a case study of farmers varietal preference of drought tolerant maize in southern Guinea Savannah region of Nigeria
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Maize is one of the worlds’ three primary cereal crops, sustainable increasing production of this crop is important to farmers to be able to meet the ever increasing consumption of maize which is one of the major reasons for the development of Drought tolerant maize variety (DTMA). The study analyses farmers’ varietal preference of drought tolerant maize in Southern Guinea Savannah region of Nigeria. It specifically determined the socioeconomic characteristics of farmers, identified their gender based preference for Drought Tolerant maize variety and elucidated the reasons for preference. Three-stage stratified sampling technique was used. Well-structured questionnaire was used to collect information from a total of 48 farmers. Descriptive, Ranking and LSD were used to analyse the data collected. The result of the analysis showed that majority of the male and female farmers have primary education and are youths. The result of varietal preference differs between genders in some locations Male farmers identified big cobs with full grains, big seed, and multiple cobs as the main reasons for their preference while female farmers identified yellow colour of seed, nutrient fortified seed and big cobs with full grains as the main reasons for their preference. It is therefore recommended that effort should be made to involve male and female farmers in the varietal selection procedure as to facilitate easy adoption of hybrid maize. The women are more concerned with the food security of their family and hence are important segment in maize innovation that improve the food security of farming households. It is therefore imperative that Programmes and policies should not exclude female farmers.