Agriculture Reference
In-Depth Information
dynamics has long been studied in rural areas, this new literature shows that urban areas are
also very sensitive to rapid changes in food price levels. Significant differences in food con-
sumption during two periods were seen, attributable to the large change in the price of food
from one season to the next (Becquey et al ., 2012).
There are strong linkages between food prices and nutritional outcomes (Lavy et al ., 1996;
Thomas et al ., 1992), with income and overall food security affecting measures of long-term
dietary inadequacy such as height-for-age. The proportion of the population living in urban
areas is growing very quickly in the developing world, and particularly in the least developed
countries in Africa. It is expected that the proportion of Africans living in urban areas will
grow from 39 percent in 2000 to nearly 50 percent by 2020. While the population grows, the
number of extremely poor households will also grow. These very poor communities are par-
ticularly sensitive to variations in food prices, since they often have little or no income and
often rely on government safety nets or the broader community to survive.
In their nutritional survey, Becquey et al . (2012) had a large cluster sample of 3,017 house-
holds in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso selected with a two-stage sampling design (Becquey
and Martin-Prevel, 2008; Becquey et al ., 2010). The paper describes the sampled households
during two rounds - first during the lean season, from June to mid-August 2007, which cor-
responds to the rainy season, and the second round took place during the post-harvest season,
from November to mid-December 2007. The dietary data were collected on two non-
consecutive days in each season by trained investigators who used a quantitative 24-hour
recall method. For each household, the person in charge of household food preparation was
asked to describe all food consumed in the household during the past 24 hours, and these
foods were listed and qualitatively detailed for each eating occasion. The quantity of each
food consumed in the household was then estimated using household measures, prices or
standard portion sizes, taking leftovers into account. Also, for one of the two recalls for each
season, individuals who were present in the household were asked to quantitatively describe
all foods consumed outside the home. By sampling these two periods, the authors were able
to capture the impact of changing food prices on household consumption (Becquey and
Martin-Prevel, 2010). Household surveys are complicated and the details very important for
the accuracy and applicability of the results. For more details on the survey methods and how
foods were categorized, please see Becquey et al . (2012, 2010, 2008).
Household diets and seasonality
The results of the Becquey et al . (2012) analysis showed that the impact of higher food prices
during the lean season was a reduction in the amount of food consumed in all but the most
well-off households. Food security was negatively associated with food prices, economic
dependence of adults and size of the household, with an overall reduction in the amount and
quality of food served as prices rose. Education, the social network of the head of the house-
hold and the presence of family members originating from urban areas other than Ouaga-
dougou were all positively associated with food security outcomes.
Another interesting outcome of the study is that in Ouagadougou, a large urban area, more
households relied on ready-to-eat meals during the lean season. These consisted of rice with
groundnut sauce purchased in the market and brought back to the home to be consumed.
There were fewer fresh vegetables consumed during the lean season due to their price and
overall availability. Although green leaves and onions were consistently available and
Search WWH ::

Custom Search