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The study was conducted in Akure metropolis to evaluate the consumption characteristics of mushrooms and snails among urban households. A stratified random sampling technique was used to administer two hundred questionnaires among urban household heads in the study area. The results of the study showed that urban households consume mushrooms and snails in the study area. Chi-square test (0.05) shows that respondents' educational qualification, income level, and household size all have a significant influence on the consumption of mushrooms and snails in the study area. Some respondents however did not consume mushrooms in the study area because of the fear of the existence of some poisonous mushrooms. The forestry department can help to improve the consumption of mushrooms by raising the awareness of urban households about mushroom consumption so as to remove the fear of the people over mushroom consumption


                          TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGES Abstract Ii Certification Iii Dedication Iv Acknowledgment V Table of contents Vi List of tables vii List of figures viii 1.0   Introduction 1 1.1   Background to the Study 1 1.2   State of the problem 2 1.3   Objectives of study 2 1.4   Justification  3 2.0   Literature 4 2.1   Non-timber forest product 4    2.1.1Classification of forest product and various forms of non-timber forest   4 product 2.2   Benefits of NTFPs utilization 9    2.2.1Non-timber forest products used as food 10 2.3   Forest produce and household food security 12 2.4   Problems of NTFPs utilization 12    2.4.1Possible solution to the problems of NTFPs utilization 13 3.0   Methodology 15 3.1   The study area  15 3.2   Method of data collection 15 3.3   Method of data analysis 15 4.0   Results 17 4.1   Socio-economic characteristics of respondents 17 4.2   Problems of mushroom and snail consumption 18 4.3   Socio-economic factors influencing mushroom and consumption 21 4.2   Discussion 24    4.2.1Socio-economic factors influencing mushroom and snail consumption 24    4.2.2 Problems of mushroom and snail consumption in the study area 24 5.0   Conclusion 26         References 27    


 Foods  from the forest  and  other forest systems  in  Africa  constitute  an  important  component  of household food security in Africa (Sene, 2000). These forest foods include a wide variety of plant and animal products found in the forests, fallow lands, and farmlands. Some of these forest foods include forest fruits (like Chrysophyllum, albidum, Bliglia sapida, Garcinia cola, etc),  snails,  mushrooms, and some insects like cricket,  locust, and grasshopper.  They  make an important contribution to the supply of food and nutrition in many villages and urban centers.   Of particular importance among the forest, foods are mushrooms and snails.  Mushrooms  and snails are essential to the supply of food and towards meeting the dietary needs of rural dwellers as well as urban inhabitants in Africa. In many parts of Africa, they help to supplement and complement food supply as well as help to reduce dietary deficiencies and the monotony of the usual diet. Reports all over the country show that mushrooms and snails serve as meat substitutes in many rural households and some urban households. As such, they both help to contribute to the well-being of the people in  Africa,  especially the rural dwellers.  Adedayo (2003) reported that rural households earn income from the sales of mushrooms and snails in the country. The warm and moist climate experienced in the country especially helps in the production of mushrooms and snails.  As  noted  by Sene (2000) the  combination  of  warm weather and air moisture over a long period provides excellent conditions for the production of mushrooms.  He  stated  further  that  several  varieties  of  mushrooms grow  on  decaying  roots, deadwood, and termite mounds or directly on cultivated land.  In  the  same  vein, snails  are found in the forest farmlands and abandoned lands.                                              1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM  Mushrooms and  snails  have  great  potential  in  meeting  the  food  and  nutrition  needs  of  the people. It is, however, unfortunate that this great potential has not been fully realized among urban dwellers.  The  reason  for  this  might  not  be  unconnected  with  the  lack  of  adequate supply of mushrooms and snails to urban centers as well as lack of adequate awareness and information about them to urban dwellers. This is especially so for mushrooms because there is  no  enough  information  to  urban  dwellers  about  the  various  varieties  of  mushrooms especially those that are regarded as poisonous. Sene (2000) noted that it is still much to do  in  raising awareness  and  providing  information  as  well  as  in  research  to  increase  the knowledge and use of African mushrooms for food.  In the same vein  many urban dwellers are not aware of the nutritive value of snails. Many of them are therefore not involved in the consumption of mushrooms and snails.   1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY  The  general objective  of  the  study  is  to examine  the  general  consumption  pattern  of mushrooms and snails among urban households within Akure metropolis.       The specific objectives of the study are:  i) To examine what influences the consumption of mushrooms and snails among urban       households in the study area.  ii) To  identify problems  faced  by  urban  households  in  the  consumption  of  mushrooms     and snails in the study area iii) To examine the impact of socio-economic indices on the consumption of mushrooms     and snails among urban households in the study area.                                             2  1.4 JUSTIFICATION  The problem of lack of awareness by urban households on the nature and characteristics of mushrooms and snails have reduced their consumption of these forest foods. This  has  not really helped those that are engaged in the trading of mushrooms and snails in the country. It has really reduced the income they earn from the sale of mushrooms and snails.   This  study  will  therefore  help  to provide  information  to  policymakers  and  development planners  on  how  to  encourage  the  consumption  of  mushrooms  and  snails  among  urban households so as to improve the income earnings of those involved in the sale of mushrooms and snails. This will not only help to boost the marketing of  mushrooms and snails it will help to boost marketing of other NTFPs.  


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