Income and Calorie Intake among Farming Households in Rural Nigeria: Results of Parametric and Nonparametric Analysis

  •  Raphael Babatunde    
  •  Adedeji Adejobi    
  •  Segun Fakayode    


There has been an intense debate in the last two decades on the nature of the relationship between income and
calorie intake. This paper relooks at the relationship using parametric and nonparametric techniques. The paper
employed a survey data set collected from farm households in rural Nigeria. Our analysis indicates that average
per capita daily calorie intake in the study area is 2428 kilocalories, which is below the recommended intake
level. We find that income has a significant positive relationship with calorie intake. Nonetheless, the
calorie-income elasticity is estimated as 0.181, suggesting that calorie intake does not increase substantially with
increases in income. The results also reveal a positive and significant relationship between farm size and calorie
intake. A combination of policy strategies, including income growth, agricultural development and targeted food
programmes could reduce the problems of inadequate calorie consumption among poor households.

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