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Consumption Uncertainty Reduction Among Sweet Potato Smallholder Farmers in Tanzania

Fulgence Dominick Waryoba and Li Jing

Global Journal of Emerging Market Economies, 2019, vol. 11, issue 1-2, 132-147

Abstract: This study examines food production and consumption among smallholder sweet potato farmers in the selected districts of Tanzania, namely Kishapu and Mvomero. Inter-cropping is commonly practiced among smallholder farmers in the study area to shield against harvest failure due to unpredictable weather change. Crop productivity in the study area was low for almost all staples selected for the analysis, leading to low food consumption among smallholder farmers and their household members in the study area. Most smallholder farmers’ food consumption in the study area was below the minimum standard. Some households failed to provide three meals for their family members, including children, pregnant mothers, and lactating mothers. Some farmers could only afford one meal. The calorie intake analysis indicated that more than half of the households surveyed had less than minimum caloric intake in both the pre- and post-harvest period. Due to food consumption uncertainty, smallholder farmers hardly changed their consumption level as their income changed. Even though consumption was inelastic, consumption inequality closely followed income inequality among smallholder farmers in the study area. Food crop productivity improvement was vital in reducing food consumption uncertainty among smallholder farmers in the study area.

Keywords: Food production; food consumption; consumption uncertainty; consumption inequality; income inequality; smallholder farmers; Tanzania (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1177/0974910119871366

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