Beef consumption in rural areas especially in Nigeria is more of privilege than a necessity,owing to it high cost, low income among the rural poor and relative low price of ice fish (a very close substitute to beef). Rural farmer prefers ice -fish to beef in other that they achieve the goal of utility maximization, given their income and price constraint. The paper sorted to estimate the elasticities of the variables that influence the demand for beef in the study area. A multi-stage sampling technique was used, where 180 respondents were randomly selected. The descriptive and multiple regression analysis were used to determine the degree of elasticities of income, price and cross elasticities . The result revealed that income; own price and price of ice-fish affect the consumption of beef by 16%, 24% and 75% respectively. The age of the rural farmers, income, price of beef where significant at 5%, while price of ice-fish was significant at 1%. The paper recommended policies issues that could be implemented to reduce the cost of beef production and enhancement of rural income through effective poverty alleviation strategies.
Key words: Income, price, cross elasticity, beef.