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Article

Dave D. Weatherspoon, Marie Steele-Adjognon, Fidèle Niyitanga, Jean Paul Dushimumuremyi, Anwar Naseem and James Oehmke

An extended period of economic growth along with stubborn childhood stunting and wasting levels raises questions about how consumer food purchasing behaviors respond to…

Abstract

Purpose

An extended period of economic growth along with stubborn childhood stunting and wasting levels raises questions about how consumer food purchasing behaviors respond to income increases in Rwanda. The purpose of this paper is to assess the role income, prices, policy, agricultural production, and market access play on how rural households purchase different food groups.

Design/methodology/approach

Six separate log-normal double hurdle models are run on six different food groups to examine what affects the probability a household purchases in each food group and for those who do purchase, what determines the quantity purchased.

Findings

Rural Rwandans are price and expenditure responsive but prices have more impact on food group purchases. Crop production resulted in reduced household market procurement for its associated food group but had mixed effects on the purchases of all other food groups. Rural Rwandans purchase and consume low amounts of animal-based proteins which may be a leading factor related to the high stunting and wasting rates. Owning an animal increased the purchased quantity of meat but lowered the purchased quantity of most other food groups.

Practical implications

Results suggest that policies and programs have to address multiple constraints simultaneously to increase the purchases of the limited food groups in the rural household diets that may be contributing to the high rates of stunting and wasting.

Originality/value

This study is the first to evaluate the interplay among prices, household income, household production, policies and donor programs, and demographic variables on rural Rwandan household food purchases.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 119 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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