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South Africa is emerging as a major player in the world agricultural products market. This study investigates aggregate food demand patterns in South Africa using a linear approximate almost ideal demand system (LA/AIDS) modeling framework. Data from a 1993 integrated national household survey are employed in the analysis. Empirical results show that demand for meat and fish, grains, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, and other foods are generally price elastic. The expenditure elasticities imply that meat and fish and grains are luxury products, whereas dairy products, fruits, vegetables and other foods are necessities in the household diet. The results also indicate that if income of households increases food expenditure on meat and fish and grains would increase, whereas that on dairy products, fruits, vegetables, and other foods would decrease. Race, age, and gender of household head, urbanization, and family size affect food demand in South Africa.


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