Maize is the most important cereal crop in Ethiopia in terms of plantation area, production volume, and economic importance for food security. Despite the relative yield increment at the national level, maize production in the study area has been hindered by a couple of factors. This study was conducted to assess and evaluate maize production constraints in the Hawassa Zuria district. Primary data was collected from 60 randomly selected maize producers. Accordingly, socioeconomic factors such as sex (β = -2.02), educational level (β = 0.18), total livestock unit (TLU) (β = 0.27), and major income source (β for agriculture = 2.75 and β for private works = 3.05) could significantly influence maize production and productivity at 1% probability level. The institutional factors such as access to agricultural inputs, extension services, credit, irrigation, and membership in rural cooperatives; and agronomic factors such as fertilizer use, planting density, weeding frequency, tillage mechanisms, and pest and disease infestation were identified as the major challenges likely influencing maize production in the study area. Based on the study outcomes, policy recommendation is made such as improving the educational level, enhancing input access and empowering farmers to adopt and apply a full package of agronomic practices that help to improve soil fertility and thus crop productivity. As a result, addressing these constraints would be critical to improving food production.
Key words: Agronomic factors, determinants, maize, multiple linear regression, production and productivity, policy recommendation.
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