On this week’s post, we explore further into the IHS dataset and study the aspect of food consumption. Food consumption entails quite a lot of items, but we will concentrate on bread consumption on this post and explore the rest into coming posts. Apart from rice, bread is one of the items that is most consumed by the average Gambian. Note that bread in this dataset includes all types of breads consumed and not just limited to “tapalapa” and “sen furr”. We analyze the data by looking into the average expenditure on bread generally and then into the specifics; bread consumption by LGAs and districts.
Table 1 presents a breakdown of mean bread expenditure by LGA. The table shows that on average Kanifing (D194), Banjul (D160) and Brikama (145) have the highest expenditure on bread respectively. This is not surprising given that the supply of bread is more readily available in these areas. A Fula or “Narr” shop is found at least less than ten minutes from these households. This has further filtered into the consumption of bread at least once a day with generally pegging average consumption twice a day for breakfast and dinner. This is why the pinch resulting from prices or scarcity during sit down strikes are greatly felt in these areas.
On the other hand, average bread consumption is least in Janjanbureh, Kuntaur and by far in Mansakonko standing at D109, D107 and D85 respectively. Dwellers of these areas are actively engaged in subsistence farming thus leading to a greater consumption of other food items such as rice and findi as opposed to bread. Taking Janjanbureh where rice cultivation is relatively more successful, it stands to reason that rice consumption will be relatively more than bread, driven primarily by supply; bread is probably supplied once a day with the number of sellers some distance away from the average household. We plan to look at trice consumption in a later post to see if our assumptions are true.
Table 1: Average Expenditure of Bread by LGA
|LGA||Average Exp on Bread (Dalasi)|
From the boxplot in Figure 1, we analyze the distribution of expenditure on bread in the past week by LGA. This plot provides an idea of how expenditure in the past week differs across household in these LGAs. Of the households in Kanifing, 75% reported that they spent at most D250 in the past week on bread whilst 75% of those in Banjul and Brikama reported that they spent no more than D200 in the last seven days. Whilst the bottom 25% in Kanifing and Brikama spend at most D100. The median household in Mansakonko spends the least amount on bread on a per week basis. In addition, there is also less variation in bread consumption in the Mansakonko LGA, compared to the rest of the country. Looking at the data from our post on rice production, Mansakonko has the lowest production of rice out of the 6 LGAs that produced rice. What this tells is that the lower amount of bread consumption could be more an income issue (driven by poverty) than a relative supply issue. Another possibility is that for households in this region, bread and rice are not the main food consumed.
Kuntaur, Janjanbureh reported that they spent about D150 on bread in the previous week. From this distribution, we learn that bread production is more lucrative in Banjul, Kanifing, Brikama and some parts in Basse as compared to areas like Mansakonko.
Figure 1: Expenditure on Bread in the Past Week (7 Days) by LGA
We now want to provide an idea of the districts in these LGAs that have the highest and lowest expenditure. Table 2 is a rundown of the top five and bottom five districts that have the highest and lowest bread expenditure in the previous week. The first five settlements represent the top five whilst the last five denote the bottom five. From the top five, Wuli West first caught our attention given that it is in a region which isn’t amongst the highest income nationally. However, it is possible that these results are driven by relatively wealthy Sarahuli settlements found in the area.
Kombo North, which is the largest district in the Brikama LGA, consisting of major settlements such as Brufut, Lamin, Wellingara reported the highest expenditure of D195, D1 above the Kanifing Municipality. It not surprising that they have topped the list given their size and access to bread. Three out the five settlements in the bottom five namely Kiang (East and West) and Jarra Central area in the Mansakonko area with Kiang West having the lowest expenditure at D63.
Table 2: Mean Expenditure Last 7 Days by District (Top & Bottom Five)
|District||Exp on Bread (Dalasi)|
|Top 5 Districts|
|Kanifing Municipal Council||194|
|Bottom 5 Districts|