Non-conventional Animal Protein Sources to Improve Human Nutrition and Farmer Education
Protein consumption has been an integral part of human nutrition. However, the cost of conventional animal protein sources in addition to the risks associated with the excessive consumption of red meat especially among the aged has made the consumption of non-conventional animal protein sources very essential. This study on the utilization of non-conventional animal protein sources for improved human nutrition and farmer education in Taraba State was carried out in 2016. Questionnaire survey research design was used for this study to collect data from sample of farmers (mini-livestock), nutritionists and agricultural extension agents. The sample for the study was seventy (70) respondents made up of 30 farmers, 20 nutritionists and 20 agricultural extension agents. The instrument used for data collection was a 28-item questionnaire which was developed from literature review. It was titled "Non-Conventional Animal Protein Sources Questionnaire (NCAPSQ)". A total of 70 copies of the NCAPSQ were distributed to the respondents and all were retrieved. NCAPSQ had two sections. Section A which deals with the suitability and availability of the non-conventional animals for human consumption in Taraba State was responded to by the mini-livestock farmers and nutritionists while section B which deals with the skills needed in the production of non-conventional animals and farmer education methods was responded to by mini-livestock farmers and agricultural extension agents. Findings from the study indicated that non-conventional animal protein sources such as termites, edible caterpillar, cricket, grasshopper, larvae of honey bee and yam beetle are suitable and available for human consumption in the study area. It was recommended that farmers should engage in the production of non-conventional animals for the purpose of human consumption.
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