An analysis of consumption patterns of major food items in Morogoro district

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


Response studies relating changes in food consumption patterns to relative changes in income and prices, and as influenced by sociodemographic factors are lacking in Tanzania. Food demand projections and the evaluation of the impact of alternative food policies on consumers and producers1 welfare, and the cost for complementing them require parameter estimates based on food demand studies. The study examines food consumption patterns of major food items, in Morogoro district for the year 1983. The influence of income, sociodemographic factors and government policies on food consumption patterns are considered. Budget shares, income elasticities, and marginal propensities to consume by income groups are determined. In addition to the analyses based on individual food items, an investigation based on aggregated classes is also conducted the aggregation being based on the nutritional value of the food items. The nutritional classes considered are (i) Energy (maize, rice, sorghum, wheat flour, cassava, bananas and sugar), (ii) Proteins (Milk, meat, beans and fish), (iii) Vegetables and (iv) Fats. The data was gathered from both primary sources (through a questionnaire administered to a sample of 120 households randomly selected from both the urban and rural areas), and secondary sources (Government reports, Population Census). regression and tabula analyses. The data was analyzed by The model used in the regression analysis evolved from the static theory of consumer behaviour. For per capita expenditure, on food income and education level, nature of employment and residential area are the factors considered. Four functional forms (i.e. linear, quadratic, semilog and double log) were identified for the analysis. The linear form was selected for subsequent analysis as most of its coefficients conformed to a priori expectation, it had the highest R , and relatively lower standard errors than the other functional forms. The study has established that lower income households have higher budget shares on food than the higher income households (84 per cent and 50 per cent respectively), whereas rural households and farmers have higher budget shares than urban households and non farmers (79 and 89 percent respectively, and 55 and 54 per cent respectively). This is because of lower incomes of the rural and farming households compared to the urban and non farming households. The lower income group spend a higher budget share on energy items (58 per cent), whereas the higher income groups spend a higher budget share on proteins (23 per cent). Households with 0-3 years of education spend 75 per cent of their incomes on food with 52 per cent being spent on energy items, whereas those with 15 - 25 years of education spend only 44 per cent on food and 20 per cent on protein. The study also shows that the total mean expenditure on food increases with an increase in the household size. Mean expenditure on food, increases with an increase in the age of head of household up to the age of 45 years and then declines thereafter. Qualitative analysis shows that the urban households prefer maize, rice, wheat flour, cassava and bananas,while the rural house­ holds prefer maize, rice, sorghum and cassava. Falling real income and cronic food shortages have resulted in below the required calorie and protein intake for all income strata, and has increased expenditure on cassava and bananas by the urban residents. Engel curve results indicate that per capita income was the only factor affecting per capita, total food expenditure significantly, it affected two food catagories (energy and protein) and three selected individual food items (maize, rice and meat) significantly. The level of education of the head of household affected significantly the vegetables category only, whereas area of residence was found to affect significantly the protein category (mainly meat) and sorghum. The nature of employment factor had no significant effect on the consumption expenditure of any of the food classes considered. Marginal propensities to consume (MPCs) and income elasticities decline with an increase in income level. The MPCs for the most preferred food items (maize, rice and meat) are higher than for the less preferred food items (sorghum, banana, and beans) Those MPCs for protein and energy food categories are higher than those for fats and vegetables. Income elasticities for maize, rice, meat and beans are generally higher than for sorghum and bananas, and those for energy and protein categories are higher than for vegetables and fats. This indicates that a one per cent increase in income will increase the expenditure on the more preferred food items by a higher percentage than the increase in the less preferred items. Maize., rice, meat and beans are luxury commodities for 20 per cent of the sampled households while meat is a luxury commodity for 80 per cent of the sampled households.


Masters Dissertation


Food items, Morogoro district