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Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Zurich) (2002)

The impact of socio-economic characteristics on demand for food and nutrition in Tanzania

Aubert, Dominique

Titre : The impact of socio-economic characteristics on demand for food and nutrition in Tanzania

Auteur : Aubert, Dominique

Etablissement de soutenance : Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Zurich)

Grade : Doctor 2002

Most of the African countries south of Sahara belong to low income or middle income countries with large parts of the population living with less than 1 US$ per day. Many of the poor living in these countries suffer from food insecurity. If food security is a political goal, poverty will have to be eliminated. Every policy aiming at alleviating poverty can be considereda food security policy, and must be encouraged. Sectoral long-run efficiency policies supporting agriculture are most likely to be effective in Africa for poverty alleviation because agriculture is labor intensive and because most of the poor live in rural areas, and rely on agriculture or on employment in agriculture. The livestock agricultural sub-sector contributes about 18% of the agricultural GDPin Africa and milk makes up 20% to 25% of this. Thus milk production plays a major role in income generation and provision of employment in rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa countries. This study therefore examines the determinants of the supply of marketed surplus of milk and the demand for food and nutrition in Tanzania. In the first part, the survey data on the production and household consumption of milk and milk products is used to analyze the factors that determine the supply of marketed surplus of milk and milk products in Mbeya and Iringa regions. The second part employs data of the household expenditure survey to investigate the demand for food and nutrition in Mbeya and Dar es Salaam regions. The analysis on determinants of marketed surplus of milk (MSM) was carried out using a farm household model. The results reveal a positive relationship between price of milk and milk products and MSM, albeit statistically insignificant. Higherprices are likely to increase farmers’ profits and incomes, thus increasing their own consumption of milk and milk products, as well as other food products. The results also show that the use of other farm inputs tends to increase MSM. A tabular analysis of the sources of fresh and fermented milk of the survey households indicates that most customers in Dar es Salaam buy milk and milk products from traders, while only few do so in Mbeya region, where direct sales are more current. As countries go through structural transformation in their economies and urbanization, changing tastes and lifestyles can have significant impact on the demand for food and other commodities. The food demand analysis estimates the demand for different food commodities, separately for low and high-income households. Both economic and sociodemographic effects on food demand were examined using a two stage budgeting procedure. From these coefficients,expenditure and price elasticities of the food commodity categories were then computed for the two expenditure groups. The results indicate that poor households tend to allocate large parts of their budget to food providing cheap calories and protein. Furthermore, low-income households are much more price responsive than high-income households which supports the assertion that low income households are compelled to adjust their consumption patterns to relatively inexpensive commodities. The results also suggest that demand for food will increase with rising expenditure, especially for meat and milk products. It is commonly assumed that nutritional intake increases with rising income. However, when household incomes increase, they also tend to purchase more expensive goods, and thus nutrient availability could stagnate with increasing expenditure. Therefore, high food expenditure elasticities do not necessarily imply that human nutrient intake increase with rising income ; even for low-income households. Nonparametric and parametric procedures were used to relate nutrient availability to total household expenditure and to compute nutrient-expenditure elasticities. The representation of Engel curves computed with the nonparametric procedure revealed that demand for nutrients continues to rise with increasing expenditure and that demand for nutrition is in linear relation to expenditure. The parametric result confirmed this assumption. Therefore, the main conclusion that can be drawn from these studies, is that income policies are likely to be very effective in improving household nutrient availability, especially of the poor, since higher incomes allows them to buy more foods which clearly improves their nutrient availability. Price interventions are likely to be less effective in improving nutritional Status of the poor. Increasing incomes will raise demand for food products, which can result in higher food prices. Price increase of cheap and calorie rieh foods would have a negative influence on the poor, since they allocate large parts of their budget to these goods and would thus suffer a reduetion of their budget available, and that will impair their nutrient availability. Assuring low prices for basic foods can be achieved by increasing production of these goods by improving farmer produetivity, as well as by facilitating trade within the country



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