An analysis of food consumption patterns in Egypt
The food problem, the problem of adequate nutrition, is regarded as a major strategic issue that attracts intensive attention at all levels. Its significance stems from its important political and socio-economic dimensions. This thesis presents an analysis of the situation of food security and demand in Egypt. It depends mainly on both a descriptive and an econometric analysis of the most recent Egyptian Household Income, Expenditure, and Consumption Survey that has been conducted by the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) of the Government of Egypt in 1999/2000. This study estimates partial and complete food demand systems as a basis for choosing future Egyptian food policies. The results of the econometric analysis provide expenditure elasticities by region and household size for major food commodity groups in Egypt and expenditure and price elasticities for Egypt as a whole. Results indicate that expenditure and price elasticities for selected food groups are relatively high in Egypt. As expected, the estimation results show that expenditure elasticities for all food groups are positive and less than one, except for fruits, meats, and milk; indicating that most selected food groups are necessities. With the food groups such as fruits, meats, and milk having expenditure elasticities larger than unity, identifying them as luxuries, it is expected that these food groups will experience an increase in demand when consumers’ income increases in tandem with the overall economic growth of the country.