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Abstract

The study investigated perceived nutritional and medicinal values of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) among rural dwellers of Kastina State, Nigeria. A total of 90 rural households were sampled in the state. Data were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistical tools. Study reveals that respondents’ average age was 36.0±16.1 years as 34.4% were aged between 31 and 40 years. Majority (93.3%) were Muslims, while 64.4% were married with an average household size of 11 members. About 50% had Quranic education. A large number had consumed date palm before in both fresh (91.1%) and dry forms (64.4%). This may be due to high level of awareness of the various functional values of date palm as majority were aware of the various functional values. Overall levels of awareness of both nutritional (71.1%) and medicinal (53.3%) values of date palm were also high among majority. Also, 56.7% and 64.4% of the respondents had favourable perception towards medicinal and nutritional potentials respectively of date palm. Level of exposure to information (r=0.410 and 0.578) and level of awareness (r=0.504 and 0.409) had significant relationship with respondents’ perceived nutritional and medicinal values of date palm respectively. The study concludes that information and awareness were proven sine qua non for favourable perception of functional values of date palm among rural dwellers in Kastina state.

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