By Chioma Obinna
The Nigerian Protein Deficiency Report 2020, the result of a survey carried out in 2020 to assess the malignant issues of protein deficiency in Nigeria will be formally presented to the public at a special Protein Challenge webinar session on Thursday, March 18, 2021.
#ProteinChallenge is the tag name of the Nigeria Protein Deficiency Awareness Campaign. The goal of the campaign is to create nationwide awareness of the prevalence, challenges and impact of protein deficiency in Nigeria and to work with relevant stakeholders to explore options of mitigating it so that Nigerians of all ages can live healthy, productive lives.
The survey was conducted on behalf of #ProteinChallenge by IPSOS, a leading market research company that conducts in-depth analyses of various issues, such as health statistics, population demographics, and other related fields.
The 2020 report is a follow up to the 2019 edition, a protein deficiency baseline study to empirically determine the status and dimensions of protein deficiency in Nigeria.
The 2020 report highlights the current levels of protein deficiency, the meal consumption patterns and the barriers to protein intake among Nigerians. It also provides insights into public-private interventions/initiatives in the nutrition sector, consumer perception of protein intakes and the prevalence of protein deficiency in selected states across Nigeria.
Globally, protein deficiency poses not only a major health problem but also an economic and social burden. It is regarded as perhaps the most important risk factor for illness and death, with millions of individuals affected.
Historical data also shows that Nigeria has a gap in its protein consumption when compared to other global economies. It is ranked below the bar in the 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 the nutrition crisis in Nigeria.
Another aspect of the report was the level of disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The coronavirus pandemic has increased the malnutrition index and caused major problems to many individuals.
Challenges faced during the pandemic enforced lockdown included food availability, food accessibility and food affordability. The financial strains affected all the SEC’s (socio-economic classes) and reduced the purchasing powers of families. Large scale and small-scale farmers were also affected and various industries suffered setbacks with many yet to recover.
The report indicated that the farmers also experienced shortages of soybeans, citing references from the current scarcity of soybeans in the livestock and agricultural industries.
The Nigerian Protein Deficiency Report 2020 offers valuable insights for academics, health professionals, nutrition experts and agro-allied industry analysts in the agricultural space.