Exploring the effects of increasing underutilized crops on consumers diets: The case of millet in Uganda

Known in the literature as neglected, underutilized or orphan crops, they have been cited as having the potential to improve food security; however, the literature also highlighted that consumers in developing countries are increasingly abandoning their traditional diets, where those crops are part of and replacing them by western diets. In that context, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the implications of expanding the consumption of neglected crops on current diets by considering consumers preferences and uses a modified version of the microeconomic consumer problem, which was augmented with linear constraints using generalized rationing theory. The method was applied to the consumption of millet by three Ugandan socioeconomic groups: rural, urban-poor and urban-affluent. The results indicate that millet can contribute to improve the intake of macronutrients and some micronutrients. However, the results also show that under the current preferences increasing substantially the quantity of millet in the diet will require a significant reduction of its price and the net impact on nutrition, as measure by the mean adequacy ratio, will be only slightly positive for the rural and urban-poor households; this points out the importance of work encouraging consumers appreciation for millet as part of the everyday diet. Acknowledgement : This paper derives from the project 2017-2019 project Formulating Value Chains for Orphan Crops in Africa funded by the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council - Global Challenges Research Fund (BBSRC-GCRF), Foundation Awards for Global Agriculture and Food Systems. In addition, part of the methods used derived from work as part of the 2016-2020 Scottish Government Strategic Research Programme, Theme 3: Food and Health.

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Conference Paper/ Presentation
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JEL Codes:
D12; C65

 Record created 2018-10-02, last modified 2020-10-28

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