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[Urban-rural differences in food intake of poor families in Guatemala] Diferencias urbano-rurales en la ingesta de alimentos de familias pobres de Guatemala.
ARCHIVOS LATINOAMERICANOS DE NUTRICION. 1991 Sep; 41(3):327-35.Differences in diet and nutrient consumption among impoverished families in urban and rural areas of Guatemala were analyzed using data from 2 surveys conducted in 1987. A sample of 200 families in the marginal community of El Milagros in Guatemala City inhabited largely by rural in-migrants and a sample of 900 families of agricultural wage workers from 195 rural communities in the northwestern altiplano participated in the nutritional study. Poverty, poor health conditions, and high rates in malnutrition among the children characterized both samples. The method of 24-hour recall in single interviews was used in both areas. The urban families were visited in July-August 1987 and the rural families in October-November. Reported consumption of foods of animal origin, milk products, eggs, and meats was over twice as high in urban areas as measured by average consumption and by the percentage of families reporting consumption Maize consumption was very high in rural but not urban areas. 97% of rural families prepared their own tortillas, tamales, and atole, and only 5% bought them prepared. In the marginal urban area by contrast, 31% of families prepared their own maize and 82% bought prepared maize derivatives primarily tortillas and tamales. Consumption of beans was higher in urban areas, largely because their cultivation is impossible in the high altitude communities of the altiplano. The average adult caloric consumption of 3194.3 in rural areas exceeded the 2637.5 of urban areas. But in both cases calorie consumption was below recommended levels. The urban total represented 86% of the daily recommendation of 3050 calories for a moderately active adult, while the rural total was equivalent to 91% of the daily recommendation of 3500 for very active adults. The average daily protein intake of 82.9 g in urban and 87.8 g in rural areas exceed the daily adult recommendation of 68 g. Almost 70% of caloric intake among rural adults came from maize, compared to 27% in urban areas. Wheat bread, beans, and sugar together accounted for 41% of total calories in urban areas. Almost 70% of protein in rural areas was contributed by maize and beans, while in urban areas over 30% was from foods of animal origin, 25% from beans, and 21% from maize. Despite their lower caloric consumption, urban families enjoyed more diversified diets and higher levels of calcium and vitamin A consumption. But vitamin A consumption met only 62% of the daily requirement in urban areas and 43% in rural areas, while iron consumption met less than 80% of the daily need in either area.
Commercialization of agriculture under population pressure: effects on production, consumption, and nutrition in Rwanda.
Washington, D.C., International Food Policy Research Institute, 1991. 123 p. (Research Report 85)This research reports on the effects of increased commercialization on production, household real income, family food consumption, expenditures, on nonfood goods and services, and the nutritional status of the population in Rwanda. The process by which household food consumption and nutritional status are affected by commercialization is described with emphasis on identifying the major elements and how each element is influenced by the change. The issue was whether agricultural production systems and efficient use of resources can be sustained under population pressure. The study area was the commune of Giciye in Gisenyi district in northwestern Rwanda. The area is mountainous and has very poor quality and acidic soils, with a deficiency of phosphorus. Population increase averaged 4.2%/year. There is a high prevalence of underconsumption and malnutrition. Subsistence food production is becoming increasingly more difficult. New activities include production of tea and expansion of potato production. There is beer processing from sorghum and off-farm employment. The forces driving commercialization are identified, followed by a discussion of the production and income effects of the commercialization process, the consumption relationships and effects, the consumption/nutrition/health links, and the longterm perspectives on rural development. The research design, theory, and data base are described. The conclusions were that increasing the rate of change in agricultural technology for subsistence crops would not maintain even the current levels of poverty; there must be reductions in population growth. The recommended strategy is to encourage diversification of the rural economy with specialization in both agriculture and nonagricultural products and to improve the human capital and infrastructure base. Labor productivity needs to be increased as well as employment expansion. Labor-intensive erosion control methods such as terracing are recommended as a resource investment, which are assumed to take into account women and their time constraints. Tea production which is considered a women's crop has offered off-farm employment opportunities. Consideration must be given to land tenure policy and issues of compensation for loss of land during the commercialization process. Health and sanitation measures are needed concurrently with economic development.