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The role of bushmeat in urban household consumption: Insights from Bangui, the capital city of the Central African Republic

Fargeot C., Drouet-Hoguet N., Le Bel S.. 2017. Bois et Forêts des Tropiques (332) : p. 31-42.

DOI: 10.19182/bft2017.332.a31331

In the Congo Forest Basin, hunting provides a major source of protein for rural household consumption. In the context of increasing urbanisation, an understanding of bushmeat consumption in urban settings is needed to both address food security issues and design biodiversity conservation strategies. This paper provides insights into bushmeat con - sumption patterns in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, through an analysis of household expenditures and market prices. A survey of approximately 4,000 households combined with 3 years (2005-2008) of mar - ket price monitoring was used to estimate the consumption of bushmeat and alternative proteins. The results showed the presence of a diverse range of animal proteins on the Ban - gui market, including meat from domestic and wild animals. The taxonomic composition of the bushmeat mainly included common, sed - entary wildlife species that are highly resilient to hunting pressure, while protected species were rarely observed. The household consump - tion survey showed that 54% of daily meals contained beef, 35% contained fish and 19% contained bushmeat. Fish and bushmeat con - sumption decreased in the rainy season, and caterpillar consumption increased. Smoked proteins (bushmeat, fish), were cheaper than all fresh meat except for caterpillars. The con - sumption of proteins and bushmeat increased with wealth; fresh proteins were consumed more by wealthy consumers, while smoked bushmeat was consumed by the poorest. Total consumption of protein and bushmeat was highest in rich households, but the rela - tive proportion of bushmeat in the total pro - tein intake was highest for poor households. Overall, the results confirm the importance of bushmeat in the diet of urban consumers, especially in poor households. However, the patterns of consumption suggest that bush - meat is less popular than alternatives, which may potentially limit an increase in bushmeat consumption, particularly if cheaper, alternative meat can be made available.

Mots-clés : chasse; viande de brousse; gibier; moyens d'existence; consommation alimentaire; marché; prix à la consommation; population rurale; analyse économique; développement rural; protéine animale; république centrafricaine

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