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Changing Consumption Patterns among Rural & Urban Households in Kenya

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The dominance of maize as the major staple food is on a downward trend with the rural households consuming straight-run posho declining to 78 percent in 2015 from 86 percent recorded in 2013. The average weekly consumption of Straight-run posho per household declined to 6.9 Kg in 2015 from 7.9 Kg in 2013. This decline is consistent with the fall in the national per capita maize consumption which was 83 Kg in 2009 and is currently estimated to be 55 – 78 Kg. Major consumption decline is observed among households in the High and Medium potential zones, traditionally known to be the main producers of maize; its flour a key feature in meals such as ugali. Though increasing in prominence in the rural areas, Sifted maize flour is consumed by only 26 percent of the rural households, recording an 11 percentage point increase from that recorded in 2013. Wheat, the second most important staple food in Kenya shows mixed consumption patterns. Even though the proportion of households consuming wheat flour declined from 40 to 38 percent between 2013 and 2015, the quantities consumed per household per week remained relatively constant at 1.8 Kg. The decline in the proportion of households consuming wheat flour is mainly observed among high income households while the proportion of low and middle income households consuming wheat largely remaining constant between 2013 and 2015. 

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