Abstract This paper identifies factors that influence the decision behavior of farmers in Southern Ethiopia in adopting improved maize varieties by estimating a logistic regression. Data for this study came from 222 farmers interviewed as part of a national adoption survey conducted in three selected maize growing administrative zones of Southern Ethiopia in 1998. The paper also assesses the impact of pure and mixed strategy options on the probability of adoption of improved maize varieties through simulation under different scenarios. As far as pure strategies are concerned, the credit strategy is more powerful than the others in terms of raising the probability of adoption. However, results from the analysis of pure versus mixed strategies imply that mixed strategies are no necessarily much better than pure strategies.