This study developed optimal food consumption plan for the rural households in Kwara State, Nigeria. A two-stage simple random sampling technique was employed in collecting data used for the study between October, 2005 and January, 2007. The main tools of analysis used in this study are the Food Security Index and the Linear Goal Programming (LGP) Model. This study reveals that 65.45% of the rural households are food insecure. Rice, maize, cowpea, gari, fish and palm oil consumed at 4.17, 18.59, 2.92, 2.66, 8.53 and 3.10 Kg per week respectively constituted the least-cost food plan for the rural households. With an average household size of eight male adult equivalents, this plan has a cost implication of
N73.73 per person per day. This shows that the cost of meeting this least-cost food plan was 38% lower than the one U.S. Dollar World Bank poverty line per person per day. This study recommends the need for the rural households to be educated on the nutritional implication of the consumption of various food items.
Key words: Goal programming, optimal combination, food plan, rural households, food security, Kwara State, Nigeria.
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