Factors influencing the consumption of pulses in rural and urban areas of Tanzania

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Tanzania Journal of Agricultural Sciences


Pulses are important/sole sources of some dietary protein and energy, especially for the vegetarian population and poor people who are less able to afford the cost of other sources of protein. Despite its nutritional and economic importance, its consumption trend in Tanzania has been decreasing over time and factors underlying this change are not well established. This study investigated factors underlying market participation and its consumption to inform policy and chain actors about ideal means to address the challenge. A two-step model following the double hurdle specification was adopted to identify factors underlying the decision to consume pulses and its extent of consumption. Model results revealed that household sizes and education levels of the decision makers residing in rural areas had significant effect on the decision to consume pulses while the extent of consumption was influenced by their education levels, household sizes, households’ total expenditure on food and non-food and prices of pulses and meat. Household sizes, levels of education and sex of the main decision makers were found to have significant effects on the decision to consume pulses whereas the age and education levels, household sizes and household’s total expenditure were the main factors that influenced the extent of consumption in urban areas. In summary, the model showed that participation in pulses’ market was lower in rural than that in urban areas. However, the overall consumption was lower in urban than that in rural areas, implying that the prospect for increasing its consumption is higher in urban than that in rural areas. To increase the market share of pulses, traders should devise effective strategies to tap into the growing demand for pulses in urban areas. This strategy should be founded on thorough understanding of desired attributes of these products and purchasing power of different consumer groups.


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Pulses consumption, Urban and rural areas, Double hurdle model, Tanzania