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The determinants of urban plantain consumption in Cameroon

Dury S., Bricas N., Tchango Tchango J., Temple L., Bikoï A.. 2002. Food Quality and Preference, 13 (2) : p. 81-88.

DOI: 10.1016/S0950-3293(01)00061-1

Plantain is one of the major staple food crops in central Africa. The first part of the paper considers the local knowledge of plantain consumers, using data from surveys conducted in the two largest cities, Yaoundé and Douala, in Cameroon. The results show that there are many different ways to cook plantain and that for each recipe, women tend to have specific requirements regarding the type (cultivar) of plantain and its stage of ripeness. However, most of the women are satisfied with the different cultivars of plantain available in urban markets, and with their general quality characteristics respective to the final use. Finally, the study found that most women consider that chemical fertilisers have a negative impact on plantain quality. The second part of the paper analyses prices, preferences, and consumption habits of urban households regarding the main starchy products. Plantain and yam are actually the most expensive products in terms of price per energy unit (kcal), compared to rice, cassava or maize. Plantain is the preferred staple for most households, but a higher level of consumption is constrained by family budgets. A Probit model shows that when family income increases, the demand for plantain rises.

Mots-clés : banane plantain; consommation alimentaire; population urbaine; zone urbaine; comportement alimentaire; cameroun

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