Ethnic Origin Influence on Urban Households Potato Purchase: Evidence from Yaoundé, Cameroon
Keywords:Potato purchase, urban households,, ethnic origin, Cameroon, food security
Potato is suggested as a food security crop due to its nutritional value, relative less vulnerability to international food price volatility, suitable capacity to various farming systems, ease of cultivation and employment and income opportunity. Moreover, potato yields more food more quickly and on less land than other staples. A great attention has been then given on agricultural research to increase potato production and processing, especially in developing countries. Yet, despite increasing trends in production, potato intake levels in Sub-Saharan Africa are still low. Besides, there is limited knowledge on households’ food consumption patterns in this region. This study aimed at investigating the associations between potato purchase patterns of urban households and their cultural background. A survey was conducted in Yaoundé, the capital city of Cameroon and as well a cosmopolitan metropolis. Using a structured questionnaire, 180 respondents from ethnic groups in potato producing areas and non-producing regions were interviewed on household potato purchase patterns including the quantity purchased, frequency and place of purchase, preferences and perceptions. Descriptive statistics and multiple linear regression were used to analyse data. Results showed higher quantities of potato purchased by households originated from potato producing areas as compared to their counterparts from non-producing regions. Besides, a significant positive relation was found between the extent of potato purchase and origin from the main producing areas, namely North West and West regions. However, household size and the purchase of potato at urban markets or at neighbouring shops had a strong significant positive relation with the quantities purchased. Taste and habit were acknowledged as main reasons for potato consumption by households with no traditional ties with potato; they also indicated perceived nutritional value of potato. On the other hand, potato-based traditional meals and perceived nutritional value of potato were important in potato purchase decisions of households from producing areas. This suggested that potato is a familiar item in urban diets. Thus, promoting the supply of nutritious and tasty potato products in urban areas could add on the range of potato-based food accessible to urban households and then increase the contribution of potato to national food security.