Grain retentions and consumption behaviour among rural Zimbabwe households
Stanning, Jayne L.
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Government programmes concerned with family food security require an understanding of o who is most vulnerable to inadequate food intake, o strategies used by households to secure access to food, o how do the poor change food consumption patterns when circumstances change, o to what extent is on-farm food production shortfall the problem, o the role of other farm and nonfarm activities in household food security, and o programme interventions that will raise food intake. To address these issues requires data on food consumption patterns, household level food availability, and nutritional status of individuals within the household. Since the primary variable to improve household nutritional status is access to food resources, this paper looks primarily at data relating to household food availability and consumption. Basic food grains supply the bulk of calories of most rural households, so the analysis focuses on food grains. For Zimbabwe these are, in order of importance, maize, sorghum, bulrush millet (mhunga), and finger millet (rapoko). This study uses cross-sectional data to look at grain consumption behaviour among rural households in Zimbabwe. While the sample-in terms of the universe of communal areas-is inevitably narrow, the study provides an opportunity to investigate grain consumption behaviour among a broad spectrum of communal producers.