The main objective of this study was to evaluate the patterns and determinants of fruit and vegetable consumption in urban and rural areas of Enugu State, Nigeria. The study was articulated based on the fact that despite the relatively cheap and abundant sources of micro nutrients found in fruits and vegetables, there abound wide spread cases of micro nutrient deficiencies. The data was collected from primary sources through a set of questionnaire administered to 240 respondents. The study employed both purposive and random sampling technique in the selection of the respondents. The data collected were analysed using descriptive statistics, Working –Leser functional form of regression and z-test statistic. Citrus, mango, plantain/banana, pineapples, papaya, star apple were the major types of fruits consumed, while, telferia, tomatoes, onions, garden eggs, okra and oha were the major vegetables consumed by the households. The result also showed that the average monthly consumption of fruit per household during the dry season was 17.8kg and 9.8kg for urban and rural areas, respectively while the average monthly consumption per household of fruits during the rainy season was 15.32kg and 12.87kg for urban and rural areas, respectively. It was 8.68kg for urban and 23.29kg for rural areas for vegetables during the dry season while it was 6.98kg for urban areas and 28.43kg for rural areas per monthly per household during the rainy season. The average budget share was 0.0849 for vegetables for households in the urban areas and 0.0690 for those in the rural areas. When pooled together; it was 0.0828 for fruits and 0.0769 for vegetables. Household’s monthly expenditure, number of adult females, age of household head, educational attainment of the household head, price, season and sex were determinants of fruit consumption in the urban areas. Total monthly expenditure, number of children, number of adult females, age of household head, educational attainment of household head and sex were determinants of vegetable consumption in the urban areas. In the rural areas, number of children, age of the household head, educational attainment of the household head, price of fruits and season were determinants of fruits consumption, whereas, total expenditure, number of adult males, number of adult females, age of household head, educational attainment of the household head and price of vegetables were determinants of vegetable consumption. All these variables were significant at various levels of probability ranging from one to ten percent with different signs. Income elasticities were below one; ranging from 0.47 to 0.70. The income elasticity for fruit in urban areas was 0.60 and 0.47 in the rural areas. It was 0.60 for vegetables in the urban areas and 0.49 in the rural areas. It is therefore recommended that there is need to put in place policies to promote and support fruit and vegetable consumption. Secondly, attention should focus on the processing of fruits and vegetables into forms that can be stored. This will reduce post – harvest losses as well as making fruits and vegetables available in all the seasons. Again, education and behaviour change programmes to promote fruit and vegetable consumption should be mounted. Fruit and vegetable production should be encouraged particularly in the rural areas. In the same vein, feeder roads should be built and already built ones maintained. This will help transport these produce to the urban areas. This will also promote availability and affordability of these products.

1.0                                                          INTRODUCTION
1.1       Background Information
Low fruit and vegetable intake is the main contributor of micronutrient deficiencies in the developing world especially in population with low intake of animal protein foods such as meat and dairy products. World Health Organization (WHO) (2003) estimated that low intake of fruits and vegetables caused about 19% gastro- intestinal cancers, about 31% of ischemic heart disease and 11% of stroke. Of the global burden attributable to low fruit and vegetable consumption, about 85% was from Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD) and 15% from cancers. It estimated that about 2.7 million deaths were recorded yearly arising from these chronic diseases.

The implication of the emerging scenario is that 2.7 million lives could be saved each year with sufficient global fruit and vegetable consumption. According to the WHO/FAO (2003), the set population nutrient goals and recommended intake was put at a minimum of 400g for fruits and vegetables per day for the prevention of chronic heart diseases, cancer, diabetes and obesity. The report also stated that there was convincing evidence that fruits and vegetables decreased the risk of obesity and evidence abound also that they probably decreased the risk of diabetes. Furthermore, there is convincing evidence that fruits and vegetables lower the risk of CVD.

Micro-nutrient deficiency resulting from low fruit and vegetable intake has been associated with various economic consequences. This is exemplified in a study in Ethiopia, (Croppenstedt and Muller, 2000). The result showed that nutritional status affected agricultural productivity and elasticities of labour productivity. Thus proving that there is a significant link between health and nutritional status and agricultural productivity.

However, in spite of this growing body of evidence highlighting the protective effects of fruits and vegetables, their intakes are still grossly inadequate both in developed and developing countries (IARC, 2003).

Analyses of family budgets suggest that the poorer the family, the greater is the proportion of the total expenditure on food thus obeying Engel’s law (Blissard

et al, 2003). Engel's Law states that as income rises, percentage of income spent on consumption rises slower as compared to rise in income. According to

(Blissard et al, 2003), many analyses of family budgets conclude that the proportions of income devoted to various groups of commodities not only change with increasing income as stated in Engel’s law but also vary systematically.

Fruits and vegetables have been known to exhibit substantial heterogeneity with regard to demand, supply and trade characteristics (Damianos and Demoussis, 1992). On the demand characteristics, most fruits and vegetables exhibit higher income elasticities than that for overall food consumption. This implies that as....

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Item Type: Ph.D Material  |  Attribute: 117 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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