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Consommation alimentaire des ménages urbains au Bénin
Mitchikpè Comlan Evariste
Atègbo Eric-Alain Dona
Fanou A. Joseph
Nago C. Mathurin

The consumption and food habits of urban households in Benin. This paper presents a study conducted in Benin's main towns which aims to identify household food habits and to set up an observatory to monitor their evolution. The investigation involved an interview based on a questionnaire at household level and discussions with a panel. The questionnaire focused on the kind of food consumed by household members, preparation, and consumption practices. The group discussions concerned the nature of the dishes eaten, their preparation, food conservation, quality control, and the processing activities which give women social recognition. Cotonou, Porto-Novo, Abomey-Bohicon, Parakou Lokossa, and Savè are the six main towns where the interviews were conducted of which three (Cotonou, Parakou, and Abomey-Bohicon) were selected for the discussions. Maize, yam, and cassava are the staple foods in these towns. The consumption patterns found in each locality depend on the ecological environment. Therefore, maize is the staple food in Cotonou, Lokossa, Porto-Novo, and Abomey-Bohicon, whereas yam is the staple food in Parakou. However, in Savè there are three staple foods: maize, yam, and cassava. The current food prices also seem to play an important role in terms of the choice of commodities at household level. In urban areas in Benin, 37-52% of household expenses are spent on food regardless of income.

Food is generally prepared at midday and in the evening when foods are processed into pastry or purée and accompanied with various sauces. Food preparation is essentially done by the women. The men buy the cereals, roots, and tubers from wholesalers. Each household has its own special practices. Each housewife has her own quality standards for choosing raw foods which depend on her sociocultural background. Subsistence farming and women's involvement in food preparation is more common in the North and becomes less common the further south you go. Individual consumption and western practices are more evident in southern towns where households have been exposed to foreign practices. Stakeholders and public or private services with experience in this field will be consulted when it comes to choosing the parameters used to measure urban household consumption patterns. 

Alimentation, savoir-faire et innovation en agroalimentaire en Afrique de l'Ouest

Created 28.05.13 Updated 28.05.13