ANALYSIS OF HOUSEHOLD CONSUMPTION EXPENDITURE ON SELECTED STAPLE FOODS
1.1 Background of the Study
Food which is a combination of macro and micro nutrients is a basic necessity of life (Kushwaha, Sen, and Yakassai, 2007). Food must contain all the necessary nutrients to make it balance. A balanced diet can be defined as one that contains all the six classes of food components viz carbohydrate, protein, vitamins, mineral salts, fat and oil and water. According to Neeliah and Shakar (2008), nutrition is the fundamental prerequisite for human welfare and contributes to human and social capita. Nutritious foods are those food items that contain the required macro and micro nutrient in a normal proportion, including fruits and vegetables, which contain nutrients such as vitamins, protein, carbohydrates and minerals that are required to sustain the body and healthy living. Eating food without the right nutrient composition could lead to malnutrition. Wardlaw and Kessel (2002) define malnutrition as a condition of impaired development caused by either a long–term deficiency or an excess in energy and or nutrient intake. Malnutrition is a state where adequate nutrients are not delivered to the cells to provide the substrate for optimal functioning (Akinyele, 2005).
The importance of protein as one of the macro nutrients needed by the body cannot be overemphasized. Protein is required for the growth, maintenance and repair of all body tissues, protein for human consumption usually comes from plants and s, pant proteins are deficient in certain amino acids notably methionine, tryptophan and lysine which are necessary for proper healthy growth (Frank and Harold, 2001). According to Britton (2003), the main difference between protein and plant protein is that, products contain different ratios of amino acids and higher concentrations of protein than most plant products do. Most plants contain proteins in lower levels. Hence, in a strictly vegetarian diet, it is important to mix and match different plants to get the variety of protein and amino acids necessary for good health. proteins are said to possess superiority over vegetable protein. proteins are generally referred to as complete proteins. They contain all the amino acids needed in the body as opposed to plant proteins in which one or more of these essential amino acids are lacking (Oloyede, 2005).
Nigeria with numerous natural and human resources still remains amongst the least consumers of protein in Africa (Ajana, 1999). Abiodun (2001) observed that the protein intake by Nigeria is about 53.8g with only 6.0 to 8.44 g/head/day of fish and origin while the United Nation/ Food Agricultural Organisation (FAO) estimated minimum protein requirements at 70gm/capita/day and the recommended protein intake from source to be 35gm/capita/day.It is not surprising that Nigeria is highly deficient in protein security with the per capita consumption put at 9.3g/day as against the 35g/day recommended by the FAO to be the minimum requirement for the growth and development of the body (Esobhawan,Ojo and Ikheloa, 2008).
Ibeawuchi,Chindo and Ahamefule, (2000) attributed the low protein intake by many Nigerians to the decline in production. Rosegrant and Thornton (2008) argued that population and economic growth in developing countries is contributing to the overheating of the food based economy since the demand for food, particularly protein which includes meat and fish has been on steady increase.
Beef and fish being important sources of protein have played important roles in the pattern of food consumption in Nigeria and they form an integral part of the diet of Nigerian people and are considered to be essential protein foods (Elliot and Ezenwa, 1988).
Beef is a product of livestock farming which has remained an essential component of the agricultural sector of the Nigerian economy. Livestock is a good source of protein which is needed for proper and balanced diet and beef is the meat obtained from matured cattle. Beef is a major source of protein because it contains many nutrients nourishing substance needed by the human body. Its high protein content is available for the growth and repair of the body and as a source of energy. It is an important source of several vitamins, minerals and other nutrients including potassium, phosphorus, sodium, iron, zinc, manic, riboflavin and thiamine. The world demand for beef has risen sharply during the last few decades due to increase in population improvement in technology and increasing incomes (Dafwanget al., 2001).