Knowledge for a sustainable world

A food systems approach to understanding and supporting contributions of small pelagic fish to human diets and nutrition in Malawi.

Research will unearth how Usipa and other small pelagic fish, which contain high levels of protein and key micronutrients important for growth, bone and brain development, contribute to the diets and nutritional status of Malawians using a food systems framework.

Aspects of this research will consider the food supply chain, food environments and consumer behaviour. This project will provide novel insights into how participation in small pelagic fish value chains has affected diets and nutrition of Malawian people, with a particular focus on young children and women of reproductive age. By looking at the diets and nutritional status both of the people involved in small pelagic fish value chains and of vulnerable groups in rural and urban communities, we will be able to produce data to inform effective policies and investment in infrastructure to improve safety of pelagic fish and improve diets and nutrition. This research will contribute to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 on ending hunger and malnutrition, SDG 5 on gender and SDG 14 on fisheries.

Primary Supervisor: Julia de Bruyn
Secondary Supervisor(s): Shakuntala Thilsted (External), Horace Phiri (External)

Lizzie Saka, a lecturer from Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR)in Malawi, joined the Natural Resources Institute at the University of Greenwich as a PhD student in April 2020. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Technology (Food Technology) from the University of Malawi and a Master’s Degree in Food Science and Technology obtained from LUANAR. She is a Quality Improvement fellow (Institute for Healthcare Improvement) and a Leadership for sustainable Development (LEAD) fellow (University of Malawi and Shell Foundation). Her research interests are in food systems, underutilised foods and plant oils.

  • Saka, L., Kasapila, W., Ng'ong'ola Manani, T. A. & Mlotha, V. 2018. Influence of maturity, smoking, and drying of fresh maize on sensory acceptability and nutritional content of the developed porridges. Food Science & Nutrition, 6, 2402-2413. doi: 10.1002/fsn3.838
  • 2015 Master Scholarship, supported by LUANAR-NRC
  • 2020 PhD Scholarship, jointly supported by Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich and WorldFish
Send an Email