1.1 Background to the study
Cassava was probably first cultivated by the Mayas (indigenous people of Mexico) from which its use as food was introduced to many part of the tropical world. The starchy root was considered of lowest food value hence it used as slave food. This was prejudicial to the emergence of cassava as an essential food crop with commercial potential (Mroso, 2003). The large population of the inhabitants in the tropics depend on tuber crops for the supply of carbohydrates in their diet. This is more so in the rain forest zone of the tropics where the growing of cereal is difficult (Akanbi, 2004).
Cassava is a very versatile commodity with numerous uses and by-products and each component of the plants can be valuable to its cultivator. The leaves maybe consumed as a vegetable or cooked as a soup ingredient or dried and fed to livestock as a protein feed supplement. The stem is used for planting propagation and grafting. The roots are typically processed for human and industrial consumption various product can be gotten from cassava which include fufu, garri, tapioca, starch among others (Truman, 2004).
According to Tonukari (2004), cassava ranks very high among crops that convert the greatest amount of solar energy into soluble carbohydrates per unit of area. Nigeria is the largest cassava producing country in Africa. Nigeria’s production is 19% of world output, 34% of African output and 46% of west African countries output (West Africa’s countries accounts for 75% of African output) among the starchy staples cassava gives a carbohydrates which is about 40% higher than rice and 25% more than maize.
Household consumption of cassava products is not possible without processing of cassava parts into finished products. Reason for processing cassava are to increase the shelf life of the products facilitate transportation and marketing, reduce cyanide content and improve palatability and nutrition.
Cassava therefore performs 5 major roles according to Nweke (2002) namely famine reserve crops, rural food staple, cash crops for urban consumption, industrial raw materials and earner of foreign exchange.
1.2 Problem statement
Cassava is produced mostly by small holders on marginal and sub-marginal lands in the humid and sub-humid tropics. It is efficient in carbohydrate production, adapted to a wide range of environment and tolerant to drought and acidic-soils.
An estimate of 70 million people obtained more than 500kcal per day from cassava and more than 500million people consume 100kcal per day (Kwano, 2003). Commonly known cassava products are garri, fufu, tapioca, flour and starch amongst others. Cassava has the potential to increase farmers incomes, reduce rural and urban poverty, help close the food gap, in other words, cassava holds great potential for feeding Africa’s growing population.
Cassava has several advantages over rice, maize and other grains as it historically played an important feminine prevention role in western and southern Africa (Blackie, 1990), but yet this same crop is burdened with stigma of being an inferior food, ill suited and uncompetitive with the glamour crops. It is assumed that it per capita consumption will decline with increasing per capita income (Nweke, 2001).
Studies have been carried out on household demand and consumption of cassava product in Kaduna state, (Daniel and Kormawa 2002), Onyemanuwa (2010) Household consumption of cassava product analysis in Ohazara area of Ebonyi state, consumption of cassava product in Oyo state (Ogunniyi 2011). But there is little information of cassava consumption analysis in Cross River, Calabar precisely, which this study intends to primarily investigate.
1.3 Objectives of the study
The main objective of the study is to analyze the determinants of household consumption expenditure on cassava products in Calabar metropolis. The specific objectives are ;
1. describe the socio-economic characteristics of the household affecting their for casava products.
2. analyze household consumption pattern of cassava products in Calabar metropolis.
3. to examine the determinants of household expenditure on cassava products.
1.4 Significance of the study
This study is carried out to analyze the determinants of household consumption expenditure on cassava products in Calabar metropolis, so as to check the demand with respect to the overall market supply of this product in the study area.
This study could aid policy markers especially now that the economy breeds diversification into agriculture to secure a reliable means of creating food sustenance, consumption and as well as employment.
This work would be useful to the Department of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Extension, Crop Science, and others as research aid reference materials. This work will also guide producers, consumers and programme planners in the country in making appropriate decisions.
1.5 Research hypothesis
H0: Age, size, income of household heads and monthly expenditure on food have no significant effect on the total expenditure on cassava products over the period of study.