The need to increase consumption of pulses in the developing world

  • E. Nwokolo


For most people in the developing countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America, the 1980s have been a very tumultuous period, a decade in which these people have seen their standards of living dangerously eroded, even devastated, by a steep decline in both real income and buying power. In country after country, devaluation of the local currency in order to meet the International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditions for restructuring loans, to spur foreign investments or to encourage exports, has led to tremendous loss of buying power and left many families reeling under immense economic pressure. For example, a kilogram of beef costs about one tenth of the monthly salary of a janitor in Nigeria, about one fifth of the monthly salary of a similar janitor in Sierra Leone, but costs less than the hourly wage of a janitor in the United States. It has been calculated that a home-cooked breakfast for four children and two adults comprising six large eggs, six medium sausages, toast, milk and coffee would cost about $10 in the US but over N200 in Nigeria, more than half the entire monthly wages of this hypothetical Nigerian janitor. As a consequence of this outrageous increase in local prices of food (especially the price of meat, milk, fish, cheese and eggs), cowpeas, common beans, pigeon pea and other pulses are enjoying a resurgence in interest and an enhanced level of consumption.


Sulphur Amino Acid Legume Seed Digestible Energy Antinutritional Factor Monthly Salary 
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© E. Nwokolo and J. Smartt 1996

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  • E. Nwokolo

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