The study investigated the relationship between food security, nutritional status and poverty alleviation coping strategies of low income households of selected Federal tertiary institutions in Kaduna state, Nigeria. Specific objectives were to determine food security status in terms of food availability, accessibility, and consumption pattern; establish nutritional status using anthropometric and 24-hours recall dietary intake; determine poverty alleviation strategies used by low-income households; examine income and nutritional status of low-income households of Federal tertiary institutions of Kaduna State, Nigeria. The study used descriptive survey design with questionnaire and personal interviews to obtain data. Data obtained were analyzed using, frequency, percentage, means, Pearson Product Moments of Correlation, regression analysis and analysis of variance (ANOVA). Results showed that most household heads between ages 36–45 years (32.4%) and 46–55 years (32%) were dominant among low income households in selected Federal tertiary institutions in Kaduna State. Also, most (53.4%) respondents had between 5 and 12 adults‟ living together and capable of providing adequate food for their households, majority (61%) had no educational qualification beyond West African School Certificate. Most adequately available food items to the low income households in Federal tertiary institutions in Kaduna State were legumes/pulse/vegetables (69.4%), followed by fruits (mangoes, guava and others), roots and tubers/cereals (38%: yams, bread, tuwon). Cereals and cereals products (maize, sorghum and millets) were most accessible and consumed and attracted highest mean accessibility of 5.97 and mean consumption level of 4.333. Least accessed and consumed food items were meat (beef, goat meat and others) 4.09, fish and eggs that attracted least mean consumption level of 2.99 for the low income households. Data also revealed that 243(59%) of adults were healthy compared to 166 (41%) that were either acutely malnourished, moderate malnutrition or those at risk, as a consequence of their consumption pattern. Majority (64%) of the low income households of some Federal tertiary institutions in Kaduna State acquired land for agricultural activities through purchase, short-term lease or loan for agricultural production, as a preferred poverty alleviation strategy to mitigate shortfalls of income for households to be food secured. Also, significant relationship between income and nutritional status of respondent showed household members with higher income having higher nutritional status. The study therefore concluded that majority (60%) of households in selected Federal tertiary institutions in Kaduna State were food secured more on cereals/cereal products, adequate in nutritional status and adopted agricultural activities for poverty alleviation coping strategies to augment low income status and poverty conditions. Food secured household conditions would result in an improved food availability, accessibility and good nutritional status of the low income households of selected Federal tertiary Institutions in Kaduna state. The study recommended among others that, low-income households should explore proteinous sources of food like meat, fish, milk and legume crops to balance for the available cereal and cereal products. Low-income households should explore other means of generating income like poultry production, fish production, large production and purchase of grains and vegetables for sale during time of financial stress. The percentage of the respondents having good nutritional status should be encouraged to sustain their efforts, for their well-being and that of their families.

1.1       Background to the Study
Food is a basic human need and the major source of nutrients needed for human existence. Food is important to humans because it is a basic means of sustenance and its adequate intake is required for optimal human living. Human beings need food to grow and carry out their daily activities, and therefore need these foods in both quantity and quality for healthy and productive life. The committees on World Food Security (1996) defined food security as a situation in which people at all time have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary need and food preferences for active healthy life. This implies that people at all levels must have enough food to eat at all times, and these foods must be safe from all contaminations, must be adequate and have varieties for a healthy life.

Omonoma and Adetokumbo (2007) observed that the concept of food security was given a general definition, but recently there has been a divergence of ideas on what food security really means. Food security is people oriented and implies a situation in which all households have both physical and economic access to adequate food for all members and where households are not at risk of losing such access. It also accounts for a substantial part of household budget (Ohwovoriole and Ochonogor, 2009). Food security as a term was developed during the l990s and focused more on just the supply of food at national level. These imply that food security assures access to food by all persons at all times to guarantee safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for active healthy life and livelihoods. Food security according to World Food Programme (2000) is a determinant factor to good health and nutritional status of people. The food we eat is digested and absorbed by our body for growth and development. From conception through old age, adequate nutrition is essential for individual development, activity, good health and self- fulfillment.

The concept of food security has three key elements; - that is, food availability, food accessibility and food utilization. Food availability connotes the physical presence of food in sufficient quantity. Accessibility suggests sufficient purchasing power or ability to acquire sufficient quality food at all times, while utilization suggests sufficient quantity and quality of food intake. These elements embrace the supply, demand and adequacy of food at all times (Omonona et al, 2007). When food security is assured at the household level, such food security is regarded as “household food security. Idachaba (2004) explained that access to food by all household reveals the role family plays in food security. This implies that at food security status, majority of the populace must meet minimum nutritional standards and have assured access to food at all times (without fluctuation in food availability) in homes. It is on this premise that the researcher intends to determine the food security status, using the low income households of selected Federal tertiary institutions in Kaduna state as a test case.

Ogbonnaya (2010) stated that Nigeria is predominantly an agricultural society with approximately 70 per cent of her population engaged in agricultural production at a subsistence level. Agriculture provided 41 per cent of Nigeria‟s total gross domestic product (GDP) in 1999. This percentage represents a decrease of 24.7 per cent from its contribution of 65.7 per cent to the GDP in 1967. According to him, Nigeria‟s differing climatic conditions with agro-ecological zones allow it to produce a variety of food and cash crops. These include cassava, yam, maize, coco-yam, cowpea, sweet potato, millet, plantain, banana, rice, sorghum, and a variety of fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, onion, okra, spinach, pumpkin leave, cabbage, lettuce, cucumber, carrot, water melon, garden eggs, and pepper. He also noted that the leading cash crops includes cocoa, citrus, cotton, groundnut (peanuts), palm oil, palm kernel, benniseed (Sesame), and rubber that were Nigeria‟s major export crops in the 1960s and early 1970s until petroleum surpassed them in the 1970s. President Olusegun Obasanjo‟s regime (1999-2009), sought to transform Nigeria‟s agricultural sector to make agriculture a gainful and sustainable business. The regime‟s policy framework encouraged specific crops production and targeted viable marketing to impact on food security. Previous efforts by governments concentrated on increased food production. President Obasanjo‟s regime favoured increased production as important, but must be accompanied by increased attention to storage, processing, packaging, distribution and marketing. In Nigeria there is a general impression that the citizens are food sufficient. This impression may not be true in all aspects and need to be investigated by this study.

Nutritional status is the health condition of a person which is influenced by the intake and utilization of nutrients. It can be assessed by a number of outcomes; most often in practice, it is estimated with growth in children and thinness in both children and adults (for protein and energy). Other measures are used to assess micronutrient deficiencies. The nutritional status of low income households in Federal tertiary institutions in Kaduna state will result from balanced food intake and normal utilization of nutrients occasioned by food security. Other combination of factors affecting nutritional status includes limited access to food, inadequate dietary intake and infectious disease(s). For example, the nutritional status of a child is an outcome of what the child eats as well as diseases he/she is suffering from or has suffered from over a period of time. However the nutritional status of children from ages one to five years old is measured using three indicators: underweight, stunting and wasting (WHO, 2005). For example underweight in children result from inadequate food intake and/or poor health, while stunting and underweight results from chronic food deprivation and chronic ill health such as kwashiorkor and/or marasmus. Adult‟s nutritional status is measured using Body Mass Index (BMI); that is, the height, weight, percent body fat and Mid Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC).

Poor personal hygiene and environmental sanitation increases the body‟s susceptibility to infectious diseases thereby resulting to illnesses. As was reported by World Development Report (2008), low- income households‟ health status is relatively low in terms of life expectancy and other factors. Good health condition results when the people have resources to improve their education, water and sanitation, proper refuse and sewage disposal systems, health promotion and food security. Low income families are marked with poor health status all over the world. This results as they are not sufficiently and adequately food secured. Baker (2003) stated that the low- income families are those families that miss meals because they do not have enough access to food. They are families that worry about running out of food that occur close to end of the months. Low income families often lack the skill for preparing nutritious meals for consumption in their homes. The low income families also lack knowledge of proper food storage and handling methods and therefore have high risk of food borne illness (Baker, 2003).

Poverty alleviation processes seeks to reduce the level of poverty in a community or among a group of people (Asaolu and Adereti, 2006 ). Poverty status of low income households could gradually be alleviated when basic resources are readily available and evenly distributed among citizens. It would be alleviated by a portfolio of policies and programmes (strategies) tailored to specific aspects of identified poverty problem (Bane, 2008). Attempts from the l970s have been made to address improved agricultural production and its sector in Nigeria. Some of these strategies include National Accelerated Food Production Programme (NAFPP), Nigerian

Agricultural and Co-operative Bank in1972, Operation Feed the Nation in1976, Green Revolution in1980 and National Agriculture Land Development Authority (NALDA) in1991. In 1986, government initiated Structural Adjustment Programme.

Poverty Alleviation Programme Development Committee (PAPDC) and Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAP) were designed to alleviate poverty and provide safety nets for the poor, such as the low income families in tertiary institutions. The programmes had effect on economic growth, but lacked emphasis on development and socio-economic problems of the low income brackets of the nation. Therefore, these efforts seem not to have attained national food security or raise nutritional status or help the low income families to attain household food security. This study therefore aims to establish the extent to which food security programme of Federal Government of Nigeria has improved the low income households‟ livelihood in Federal tertiary institutions in Kaduna state in terms of achieving food security and improving their nutritional status.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Size: 214 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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