Spatial differences in food consumption behavior in Uganda
Werema, Gilbert Joshua
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The purpose of this study was to analyze food demand patterns of Ugandan households and conduct econometrics analysis of food demand structure utilizing eleven different variables, namely: income levels, price, regional dummy, urbanization status of the household, production of food by household, border-effect as well as socio-demographic characteristics such as size of household, education status of head of household, sex of head of household, age of head of household. The main objective was to conduct an econometric analysis of the structure of food demand in Uganda, examine the effect of borders and urbanization and their impact in determining household food demand, and to test the hypothesis as to whether consumers in poorer countries resort to greater substitution within food groups (i.e. cereals). The Working (1943) model was used to estimate aggregate expenditures and price elasticities for aggregate demand food and non-food commodities while the Linear Approximation of Almost Ideal Demand System (LA/AIDS), was tested econometrically for the five food sub-categories and 13 food commodities. To accomplish this, the 1996/1997 Uganda National Household BudgetSurvey (UNHS) data from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) are used. In this study the Heckman’s two-step model was used to correct for zero consumption. The main conclusions were as follows. First, for low income households, price changes results in great consumer substitution within a particular food groups such as the starchy food group. Second, households that are located in border areas consume of matooke, sugar, oils, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, alcohol and pulses than the interior districts do. Households dwelling in urban settings differ from their rural counterparts only in the consumption of fruits and vegetables.. Third, the presence of young members in a Ugandan household had a positive effect in the demand for dairy products, meat, matooke, fats and oil, and fruits and vegetables. The presence of older household members has a positive effect in the demand for matooke and fats and oils and also that consumption of maize, cereal, rice, and beverage. Finally, food purchases for food producing households are more sensitive to price and income changes especially for matooke purchases.