Zambia, like many other African countries is undergoing rapid urbanization and rising per capita income, accompanied by rising population. This study sought to understand the changing food expenditure patterns in Zambia and the implications of this transformation on food policy, food market development, and rural development. The main source of data for the study was the Living Conditions Monitoring Survey (LCMS) data collected in 1996, 1998, 2010, and 2015 by the Central Statistical Office (CSO) of Zambia. Trends in expenditure shares were done for each of the food categories over time and by rural and urban areas. The study found that there have been major declines in the shares of food expenditure on maize among rural and urban households between 1996 and 2015. However, wheat shares in urban households’ diets increased while rural households experienced a drop in coarse grains and tubers. Wealthier households spent larger shares of their food expenditure on wheat, rice and potatoes. Further, wealthier households increased their share of expenditure on animal protein, while poorer households doubled their expenditure on vegetables. Thus, transformation of food expenditure patterns is evident mostly among the high income households, mainly in urban areas. Overall the changing pattern of food expenditure is consistent with rising incomes and rapid urbanization. However, the disparities between the different income groups and between rural and urban areas are indicative of a rise in income inequality both in urban and rural parts of Zambia.
Food Security – Springer Journals
Published: May 16, 2018
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