||Maize is an important cereal crop in Ethiopia as a source of both food and cash and represents a shift in farmers’ choice of crops. In terms of area coverage on a national basis, it is next to teff (CSA 2007). Of all food crops covered under the extension program, maize has received special attention owing to its wide cultivation and its great significance among food crops. This can be seen from the fact that at mean annual growth rate of 1.62%, the total area of land under maize cultivation has increased significantly from 75,500 ha in 1961 to about 1.69 million ha in 2006/07. It constituted 12.8 % of the total area under cereal crops in 1961 and 20% in 2008. Annual production is more than 3.8 million tons, accounting for nearly 29% of the total cereal production in the country. The rates of increase in maize production and its share in the total cereal output have been at 3.27% and 1.92 %, respectively. Average yields have also increased from 9.6 q/ha in 1961 to 22.29 q/ha in 2007, growing at an annual rate of 1.62%. With respect to drought tolerant maize, 40% of the total maize cultivated area is in drought prone regions of the country (Mandefro et al., 2001). Thus, increasing the production of maize under drought conditions has a direct impact on the livelihood of farm households that depend on maize production for their income and consumption. This emphasizes the need for targeted maize breeding research. Maize research in Ethiopia was first initiated by Jimma College of Agriculture in 1952 and Alemaya College of Agriculture (now Haramaya University) in 1953 (Tesfaye et al. 2001). Since the inception of formal maize research in Ethiopia, about 30 maize varieties have been developed by the national research system. Of these varieties, 18 are OPVs and 12 are hybrids (Annex 1). The OPVs were developed by the public institutions, primarily Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), Hawassa College of Agriculture, and Haramaya University. While most of the hybrids were similarly developed by EIAR, three were developed by Pioneer. OPVs released specially for drought stressed areas (where cultivation is rain fed only) include Katumani, Tesfa, Fetene, Melkassa-I, Melkassa-II, Melkassa III, Melkassa IV, and A-511(Dawit et al. 2007). These improved varieties are grown alongside local varieties such as Sheye, Hararghe, Bukuri, Limat, and China (Mandefro et al. 2001). This country study is part of the Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) project. It presents the findings of the household survey which serves as a baseline for characterizing the maize producing households in the Adami Tulu - Jido Kombolcha (ATJK) and Adama Districts of East Shewa zone of the Oromia Regional State districts of Ethiopia—part of the project's medium drought risk zone (20−40% PFS) target area. It complements an earlier community assessment study in the same area (Jaleta et al. 2009). Apart from characterizing the maize producing households, this study assesses the adoption of improved maize varieties and identifies factors influencing their adoption. The information generated will be used as a feedback for research and development interventions and relevant policy actions.