Factors affecting consumption of Cassava meal in Zambia's Lusaka District

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Chalwe, Boyd
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University of Zambia
The main objective of this study was to find out the factors affecting consumption of cassava meal, and perceptions consumers have regarding cassava meal. It is based on sample survey data from Lusaka district of Lusaka Province of Zambia. Collected data was analyzed in Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) to generate descriptive statistics. Frequency distribution tables were generated to calculate each response as a percentage of the total responses available for a particular question. The study considered characteristics of consumers such as the level of education, marital status, sex and age. Field results showed that most of the respondents were females. The age group of 31-40 years had the highest percentage and the least was the age group of 61-70 years. In terms of distribution of respondents by education most of them reached secondary followed by primary and those who never attended school represented the least percentage. On the reasons of preference of cassava meal the highest percentages were for the reasons of being blended with maize meal, being used in baking and being available even in cases of drought and the least percentage was for the reason of being easy to prepare. In terms of sources of awareness 65% heard from friends, 58% from TV, 50% from Radio, 47% from magazines, 50% from newspapers, 2% from government extension workers, 55% from the village, 42% from posters and 40% from brochures. Distribution of respondents based on cassava meal characteristics, the characteristic of nutritious had 55.4%, affordability had 73.6%, associated with the poor had 40.9%, accessibility had 53.6, safety 92.7%, sustainability 51.8% and the fact that one can advise someone to buy cassava meal had 83.6%. The probit model was used in analyzing the effects of independent variables on the dependent variable which was consumption of cassava. The independent variables were age, sex, household size, marital status, residential area and education. The consumption of cassava meal was found to be significantly explained by household size (p value=0.003), level of income (p value=0.004) and residential area (p value= 0.022). The household size had a positive coefficient meaning that it had a positive effect on the consumption of cassava meal. Income was a dummy variable and low income level was found to be negatively significant meaning that it had a negative effect on the consumption of cassava meal. Residential area was also a dummy variable and rural area was found to be positively significant in explaining consumption of cassava meal, meaning that one belonging to the rural area increased the possibility of consuming cassava meal. Based on the findings my recommendations would be promotions of cassava meal and awareness programs which would concentrate on low income groups, rural areas and families with large household size, this is because these groups are more likely to accept consumption of cassava meal. Also studies that would focus on finding the reasons why there is low consumption among high income groups, households from urban areas and households of small size.
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Cassava-Zambia , Cassava-Marketing--Zambia