Assessment of expenditure on food among urban households and it’s implication for food security: Evidence from Benue State, Nigeria
The study assessed expenditure on food among urban households in Benue State of Nigeria. This was done with the view to assess household food expenditure and its implications for food security status of the households; identify and assess determinants that influence household food demand; and analyze the determinants of food security of household urban population. The selection of the sample for the study involved a three-stage sampling technique. Data was collected from 150 households through a structured questionnaire. Descriptive statistics, food security index, multiple linear regression and logit regression were employed to analyze data. The results indicated a mean household expenditure on food that stands at N21,748.00 (140.3 USD) per month. Based on the food security index the households that spent at least N14, 498.67 (93.5 USD) on food per month were categorized as food secure and those who spent below this value were categorized as food insecure. Furthermore, 67.3% of the households were food secure, while 32.7% were food insecure. The study revealed that size of household, income of the household head and price of food commodities were identified as major factors influencing household food demand decisions in the study area. Moreover, size of the household and income of the household head were the main determinants of food demand in the study area (F = 19.78; p . 0.05) just as age and income of household head as well as household size influence the probability that a household will be food secure (ƒÔ2 = 13.77; p > 0.05). The study recommends that household heads should be educated on the need to control family size and to be self-empowered without necessarily depending on government as a way of enhancing their income to improve the household and economic conditions. The government should strengthen its policy on grain reserves in order to control food prices during scarcity and subsidize farm inputs and availability to boost food production and thus lower food prices.
Key words: Food security, Urban, Household, Expenditure
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