Socio-Economic And Cultural Analysis Of Food Security Among Selected Ethnic Groups In North Central Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Agricultural Engineering AE

Socio-Economic And Cultural Analysis Of Food Security Among Selected Ethnic Groups In North Central Nigeria


The broad objective of the study was to investigate the socio-economic and cultural dimensions of food security among selected ethnic groups in North Central Nigeria. Specifically, the study was designed to: determine food culture and practices of the respondents; determine the household food security status (energy availability) across
ethnic groups; determine dietary diversity of the households across cultures; identify perceived constraints militating against household food security; and describe the coping strategies utilized by the households during food shortages. Seven hypotheses and a conceptual framework were developed for the study. The population of the study consists of all ethnic groups in North Central Nigeria. The zone comprises about 60 ethnic groups.

Specifically, the study was carried out among Tiv, Igala and Eggon ethnic groups of Benue, Kogi and Nasarawa States. A multi-stage sampling technique was adopted for the study. Three ethnic groups (Tiv, Igala and Eggon) and one village per ethnic group were purposively selected based on differences in language and culture. The total sample size for this study was 340 respondents, made up of 120 Tiv households, 108 Igala households and 112 Eggon households. Data for the study were collected through the use of interview schedule.

The data were analyzed using frequency, percentage, mean score, food security index, factor analysis; the comparative (reduced) coping strategy index (CSI), logit regression, Kruskal-Wallis (H) statistic and correlation. The study revealed that majority (91.2%) of the respondents were males. The mean age of the respondents was 43.36 years while their mean household size was 5 members. The mean farm size of the respondents was 3.3 hectares while their average fertilizer use was 4.73kg/ha per annum. Majority (53.2%) had no formal education; majority (89.4%) had no access to credit and about 53.2% did not participate in non-farm activities. The average output from own production was 6211.79kg and majority (60%) of the respondents possessed goats. The mean farm income; mean non-farm income and average annual household income for the respondents were 69,539.00 naira; 22,486.00 naira and 91,752.00 naira, respectively.

Majority (93.2%) of husbands took decisions on household agricultural activities; all respondents practiced subsistence farming; and 94.7% practiced mixed cropping. Majority (88.6%) of the respondents preferred major crops; about 92.5% acquired farmland through inheritance; and the family (67. %) constituted the main source of labour. Majority of the respondents used traditional processing (97.4%) and storage (96.2%) methods. Majority (95.4%) of husbands controlled household income and

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