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Elmadfa, I., and Meyer, A. L. Animal proteins as important contributors to a healthy human diet. Annual review of animal biosciences, 5, 111-131, 2017.

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Food Security Implications of Protein Demand of Underutilised Indigenous Vegetables Farming Households in Southwestern Nigeria

1Department of Agricultural Economics, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

2Department of Soil and Land Resources Management, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Journal of Food Security. 2019, Vol. 7 No. 5, 183-191
DOI: 10.12691/jfs-7-5-5
Copyright © 2019 Science and Education Publishing

Cite this paper:
Adeolu B. Ayanwale, Adesiyan O. Funmilola, Adelekun. C. Abiodun, Ojo. P. Mathew, Ajekigbe N Alaba, Durodoluwa J. Oyedele. Food Security Implications of Protein Demand of Underutilised Indigenous Vegetables Farming Households in Southwestern Nigeria. Journal of Food Security. 2019; 7(5):183-191. doi: 10.12691/jfs-7-5-5.

Correspondence to: Adeolu  B. Ayanwale, Department of Agricultural Economics, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Email:


Background: In spite of Nigeria’s huge agricultural and human resources potential, recent reports state that most farming households are on the verge of acute food insecurity. Commonly adduced reasons for the food insecurity status do not accord adequate attention the critical role the demand for nutritious protein by these resource-poor farming households especially those cultivating Underutilised Indigenous Vegetables (UIV) plays. This study therefore examines the nature of demand for protein among the UIV farming households and its implication for food security. Methodology/Principal Findings: The study area was all the six states in the Southwestern part of Nigeria and Kwara state. Primary data was collected in 144 communities among 1089 households. Findings indicate that the majority of the household experience food shortages on a weekly basis. They cope by borrowing money as well as reducing the quality and quantity of food eaten. A Quadratic Almost Ideal Demand System (QUAIDS) model considered proteinous food items which include egg, chicken, pork, fish, milk, beef and bushmeat. Price elasticity of egg is unitary; chicken, pork and bushmeat are elastic; and fish and milk are inelastic. Pork is the most price elastic. Beef exhibits a Veblen effect and its only substitute is the bushmeat. Chicken, milk and fish are inferior goods while egg is a necessity. Sex, age, household size and educational level significantly affect the budget share to protein among the producers. Conclusion/Significance: The study established that poor UIV farming households consider consumption of proteinous food items as a privilege in display of better social status because they (proteinous food items) command higher prices. Others not so privileged farming households seek cheaper alternatives by consuming bush meats and UIVs which thus becomes important in the food security equation.