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Authors: Akolaa, Rosemary Anderson
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: Many intellectuals and other authorities have perceived that the growth and prosperity of a nation is heavily dependent on the wellbeing, nutrition and development of the people. This has been presumed to be further dependent on peoples’ nutrition knowledge of foods found in their localities and the frequency of their consumption. There is a rich habitation of natural foods that might probably promote food security, nutrition and health, hence, an appropriate and sustainable intervention in nutrition using indigenous food resources can improve several key development outcomes. In Ghana, under nutrition contributes to about half of all child deaths beyond early infancy, which is unacceptable. This study sought to assess the indigenous nutritional knowledge and consumption of indigenous foods by mothers in the Nabdam district of Ghana. The concurrent approach of mixed method was adopted. Four hundred individual respondents for the quantitative aspect were selected through a simple random sampling technique. Purposive sampling adopting the snowball technique was used to sample 9 individuals for the in-depth interviews. Again, purposive sampling technique was used to select participants for the focus group discussions. A total of seven focus group discussion was carried out in seven communities. STATA 13 and NVivo 11 software were used in the analysis for quantitative and qualitative data respectively. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine association between dependent and independent variables. The mean age of respondents for the quantitative survey was 33.3, with a standard deviation of 10.9. Only few (21.5%) of the respondents were able to differentiate indigenous foods from all the food categories presented. Indigenous nutritional knowledge was high (77.7%) and majority (64.8%) of iii mothers consumed indigenous food. However, Indigenous cereal was less consumed (43.8%) as compared to non-indigenous cereals (56.2%). Indigenous nutritional knowledge was significantly associated with consumption of indigenous food (p=0.015). Marital status, age, educational level, and sources of knowledge were statistically significant and associated with mother’s indigenous nutritional knowledge. Mothers who attained JHS/MS/Tech and Tertiary were 33% and 100% less likely to consume indigenous food as compared to those without formal education (aOR = 0.67, 95% CI = 0.3238, 2.3711) and (aOR=0.00, 95% CI = 0.4623, 6.4023) respectively. The study concluded that the high indigenous nutritional knowledge displayed by the mothers in the Nabdam district was skewed towards the elderly, and for that matter calls for rigorous knowledge transfer. Even though the overall score on the consumption of indigenous foods was averagely high, it leaves much to be desired, since the consumption of indigenous cereals and indigenous fruits were low. Nutritional knowledge does not influence consumption on its own, but other critical influencing factors such as environment (cultural, availability and institutional), lifestyle/behavioural and other personal factors may interact to strongly inform consumption of indigenous foods. The study also concludes that culture and lifestyle have great influence on the consumption of indigenous foods among mothers. The study again concluded that the culture of transferring indigenous knowledge to the younger generation is not easy with the fast growing society, with modernity being one obstacle, and the fact that the younger generation are not ready and not prepared to learn the indigenous skills.
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Integrated Development Studies

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