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Promoting Non-Animal Protein Sources in Sub-Saharan Africa

An Interdisciplinary Study

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Edited By Sunday Paul Bako and Frank Olwari

The research results point to the need of sustaining plant protein sources to large populations in sub-Saharan Africa that have no access to meat. Proteins are essential components of the human body and therefore indispensable for human life. Malnutrition and diseases are often caused because of the lack of sufficient proteins. Since animal sources of protein are out of reach to more than 85% of the people of sub-Saharan Africa, the challenge is to make protein otherwise accessible, available and affordable to the ordinary man. Owing to the influence of climate change and population explosion, the situation at discussion will exacerbate within the coming decade. Therefore non-animal protein must be brought into focus in order to prevent major diseases of malnutrition.

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An appraisal of some seeds and vegetables as lesser known potential sources of non-animal protein in northern Nigeria (Sunday Paul Bako) 81

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AN APPRAISAL OF SOME SEEDS AND VEGETABLES AS LESSER KNOWN POTENTIAL SOURCES OF NON-ANIMAL PROTEIN IN NORTHERN NIGERIA Sunday Paul Bako Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria Abstract This study presents primary and secondary data on the potentials of indigenous and naturalized plant species as sources of non-animal protein as well as the present cultivation and utilization status of these species in northern Nigeria. The methodology involved in the analysis of protein contents for both primary and secondary data was the micro-Kjehldal procedure (except where otherwise stated). Over 25 plant species were presented as having protein contents that ranges from as low as 4.25% to as high as 41.60% in their various seeds and leaves. Similarly, it presents data on the occurrence of six categories of anti- nutritional factors in the various parts of the plants analyzed. Majority of these species are presently exploited more in other regards than as sources of food. It therefore highlights the potentials of indigenous and naturalized plants as sources of food proteins that could be utilized to improve human nutrition in a predominantly low income population. Further, it hopes to stimulate research into food safety aspects, as well as commercial viability of the species with promise as crops for enhanced cultivation. Introduction In sub-Saharan Africa, there are several thousand indigenous species of plants already selected for food production, that still fall outside the ambit of modern research and economic development. These plants have been feeding people for ages and have become essential parts of the peoples’...

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