The North and South East regions of the country are relatively behind in daily consumption of protein products in Nigeria by as much as 45 percent according to The Nigeria Protein Challenge Deficiency Awareness Report 2020 launched in Lagos.
The report also stated that Nigeria ranks 91 out of 109 countries on the Global Food Security Index.
Mr. Obaro Oghroro of Ipsos which produced the report described beans as the most commonly consumed protein food in Nigeria by 81 percent followed by fish (62 percent) and meat (59 percent).
Oghroro who lamented low consumption of protein foods in the country listed four major reasons for the trend:
- High cost of protein foods: 45%
- Low income by Nigerians: 39%
- Little or no knowledge of protein: 10%
- Scarcity of protein-rich foods: 4%
The report stated further:
“Malnutrition refers to deficiency of nutrition and is one of the major health problems faced by children in Nigeria. There’s still a high prevalence of deficiencies in Nigeria when compared to the rest of the world. According to UNICEF, Nigeria has the second highest burden of stunted children in the world
Historical data show that Nigeria has a gap in its protein consumption when compared to other global economies. It is ranked below the bar in global food security index with a protein per capita – daily intake lower than the global standard. This is a major burden that requires continuous interventions to combat and reduce a nutrition crisis in Nigeria.”
According to the report, the main challenge faced by Soya Beans Farmers is Insufficient Financial Support. This is evident in the fact that less than 10 percent of the farmers have received any kind of incentive. It is important that these farmers are supported to boost Soya bean trade in Nigeria, as almost half of those who received these incentives witnessed increase in their output
‘Nigeria has a gap in its protein consumption when compared with other global economies. It is ranked below the bar in global food security index, 2nd largest prevalence of stunting with a protein per capita – daily intake lower than the global standard.
This is a major burden that requires continuous interventions to combat and reduce this nutrition crisis in Nigeria. Though 7 in 10 households believe they are having enough protein intake, their daily intake of proteins suggests otherwise and remains very low accounting for less than a third of daily food consumption.’
The report made three fundamental recommendations to effectively address the problem of protein intake and deficiency in Nigeria:
- Need to channel communication to the essence of protein consumption and to push out clear information regarding required intake of protein for optimum wellbeing especially in North and East where there are lower intakes.
- Consider driving deliberate efforts that are targeted towards affordable protein sources for household especially the lower income groups to boost daily intake.
- Partnering with government agencies, donor organisations and private investors (local and international) will significantly drive awareness and increased production.