The Rise of a Middle Class in East and Southern Africa: Implications for Food System Transformation

July 15, 2015

Tschirley David, Thomas Reardon, Michael Dolislager, and Jason Snyder. 2015. The Rise of a Middle Class in East and Southern Africa: Implications for Food System Transformation. Journal of International Development, J. Int. Dev. 27, 2015, 628–646

ABSTRACT

We show five points regarding the middle class in developing East and Southern Africa:
(1) 55 per cent of the region’s middle class —37 per cent of the ‘non-vulnerable’ middle class— is rural; 
(2) 61–83 per cent of the middle class’s food is purchased; 
(3) processed food occupies 70–80 per cent of the class’s food expenditure, with similar shares in urban and rural areas; 
(4) perishable products account for 44–55 per cent of the class’s expenditure. Policy attention to processing and to food products ‘beyond-grains’ thus needs to be ‘mainstreamed’; and 
(5) the import share of food expenditure does not rise with income in urban areas.


KEYWORDS: Africa; middle class; processed food; food imports; urbanisation

Tags: c4b, food imports, fsg peer reviewed publications, fsp peer reviewed publications, middle class, nutrition, processed food


Related Topic Areas

C4b


Authors

David L. Tschirley

David L. Tschirley
517 355 0134
tschirle@msu.edu

Thomas Reardon

Thomas Reardon
517-355-4563
reardon@msu.edu

Jason Snyder

Jason Snyder
snyde138@msu.edu

Tschirley David, Thomas Reardon, Michael Dolislager, and Jason Snyder


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