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African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development

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Vegetable Consumption patterns in Yaounde, Cameroon

R Kamga, C Kouamé, E Akyeampong

Abstract


A survey was conducted in August and September 2008 in Yaoundé, Cameroon to assess vegetable consumption attitudes, constraints and factors that stimulate households’ consumption. Stratified sample based on district size, socioeconomic status and ethnics groups were used. Three hundred households were interviewed using a questionnaire and there were four times as many women as men in the sample. Data were analyzed using SNAP. More than 80% of the respondents were educated at the secondary (54%) and tertiary (30%) levels. The respondents were generally the wife (35%) or children (30%), and sometimes the husband (20%). More than 50% of the respondents were landlords living in their own homes and the rest were tenants. On average, the population of Yaoundé consumed vegetables frequently (2 to 4 times per week). Tomato, onion, carrot, and chili pepper were the most preferred exotic vegetables while bitter leaf (>80%) and okra (>70%), were the most preferred traditional vegetables. Attitudes towards vegetables varied according to socioeconomic and ethnic group. Main constraints to vegetable consumption were preparation time for respondents in the upper class (30%) and social taboos (amaranth is an ominous crop and can cause impotency in men; okra can inhibit the traditional treatment of some diseases) for the middle and lower classes. Freshness, wholesomeness, and color of the fruit or leaves determined the decision to purchase vegetables. Diversification of diet which is good for health, the preference of family members, and taste were the main reasons for consuming vegetables. Taste, degree of sliminess (okra), and smell after cooking were factors that increased satisfaction during consumption. Two-thirds of the respondents knew the benefits of vegetable consumption but their knowledge was not specific and is influenced by social taboos. Willingness to pay for processed traditional vegetables was higher among respondents in the upper income class (56.9%) than the lower (45.8%) and middle (37.1%) classes. The study revealed a need to further promote the consumption vegetables and inform consumers of their nutritional benefits.

Keywords: vegetables, consumption, nutrition, vitamins, minerals

African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, Volume 13 No. 2 April 2013



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