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Abstract

Household access to food over time in Tanzania is measured by comparing the cost of representative food baskets to household income. Consumption patterns, estimated using household data from the 2010/11 National Panel Survey conducted by Tanzania’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), show considerable diversity across the country. Maize (corn) dominates the diets in the surplus-maize-producing regions. Households in the maize-deficit regions in the north favor other sources of starch such as cassava and banana. The food baskets include 15 food groups that make up approximately 67 to 88 percent of average calorie intake. From 2008/09 to 2010/11, food basket costs rose rapidly in nominal terms but were stable in real terms. Combining food basket cost data and income data suggests that households in the bottom two income quintiles have significant difficulties with access to food.

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