Africa ' s unfolding diet transformation: implications for agrifood system employment

David L Tschirley (Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, United States.)
Jason Snyder (Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, United States.)
Michael Dolislager (Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, United Kingdom.)
Thomas Reardon (Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan United Kingdom.)
Steven Haggblade (Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, United States.)
Joseph Goeb (Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Michigan State University East Lansing, United Kingdom.)
Lulama Traub (Department of Agricultural Economics, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa.)
Francis Ejobi (Department of Veterinary Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.)
Ferdi Meyer (Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa.)

Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies

ISSN: 2044-0839

Publication date: 16 November 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand how the unfolding diet transformation in East and Southern Africa is likely to influence the evolution of employment within its agrifood system (AFS) and between that system and the rest of the economy. To briefly consider implications for education and skill acquisition.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors link changing diets to employment structure. The authors then use alternative projections of diet change over 15- and 30-year intervals to develop scenarios on changes in employment structure.

Findings

As long as incomes in ESA continue to rise at levels near those of the past decade, the transformation of their economies is likely to advance dramatically. Key features will be: sharp decline in the share of the workforce engaged in farming even as absolute numbers rise modestly, sharp increase in the share engaged in non-farm segments of the AFS, and an even sharper increase in the share engaged outside the AFS. Within the AFS, food preparation away from home is likely to grow most rapidly, followed by food manufacturing, and finally by marketing, transport, and other AFS services. Resource booms in Mozambique and (potentially) Tanzania are the main factor that may change this pattern.

Research limitations/implications

Clarifying policy implications requires renewed research given the rapid changes in Africa over the past 15 years.

Originality/value

This is the first paper to explicitly link changing diets to changing employment within the AFS.

Keywords

Citation

David L Tschirley, Jason Snyder, Michael Dolislager, Thomas Reardon, Steven Haggblade, Joseph Goeb, Lulama Traub, Francis Ejobi and Ferdi Meyer (2015) "Africa ' s unfolding diet transformation: implications for agrifood system employment", Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 102-136

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DOI

: https://doi.org/10.1108/JADEE-01-2015-0003

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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