This article analyzes the consumption patterns in Botswana, paying special attention to food consumption patterns and food security in line with poverty alleviation. Engel's Law has been found to be generally applicable to the Botswana's economy. At the national level, household allocation on food consumption decreased from about 35% in 199394 to 33% in 200203. Furthermore, the food shares are higher in rural areas than urban areas since the former has lower income than the latter. Despite the existence of food security at the national level, there is incidence of food insecurity especially in rural areas where households allocate about 88% of their disposable income on food and only 12% on non food items. There is also a tendency of poor consumers to spend on expensive assets and other household items, probably sometimes, at the expense of food security. This, however, needs further research and it is also recommended that relevant government agencies, NGOs, media and others should make more efforts in implementing food security policies especially in rural areas. They should also educate the poor consumers against free consumerism at the expense of food security. This is in line with the eradicating poverty and food insecurity by the year 2016. Although the study focuses on Botswana, some of the recommendations made are possibly relevant in less developed countries.
to the nationwide Household Income and Expenditure Surveys (HIES), the percentage
of people living below the poverty line decreased from 47 (199394) to 30 (200203).
At national level household food consumption indicated a decline from 35.0% to
32.7% in this period of time. This is in line with Engel's Law, i.e., the proportion
of income spent on food tends to decrease as people's income increase and that
spent on nonfood tends to increase. However, despite this positive trend, the
problem of food security exists especially among the poor.
paper is organized in six sections. Section 1 presents the introduction to the
study. Section 2 provides the general and specific objectives of the study. Review
of literature relevant to this study is examined in Section 3. Methodology is
outlined in Section 4. Section 5 deals with analysis of data and discussion of
results and Section 6 presents summary and conclusion.