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Understanding the value chains and post-harvest losses and waste of small pelagic fish in Malawi

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Wednesday, November 20, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Throughout sub-Saharan Africa, small pelagic fish are harvested exclusively by small-scale fishers. The fish broadly serves two markets: human food and animal feed. The value chain for the Usipa (Engraulicypris sardella) is a point in case. Up to 70,000 tonnes of Usipa (Engraulicypris sardella) is harvested annually; however, post-harvest losses are reported at up to 40%. However, more evidence is needed to more accurately quantify these substantial losses and guide the development and evaluation of context-appropriate mitigation strategies. The main objective of this research is to better understand the dynamics of the Usipa value chain, drivers of decisions made by value chain actors at different stages of the chain, and the impact of those decisions on the use of this resource. The ultimate objective is to provide research that will advise policy and practice that will bring about reduction in post-harvest losses. Research questions may include:
i. Investigate the costs/benefits (economic feasibility) of different actors along the usipa value chain?
ii. What are the level of post-harvest losses and waste within the Usipa value chain, and what is the nature and causes of these losses?
iii. What are the factors/determinants of post-harvest loss and waste at different stages of the value chain? How do fish value chain developments affect the socioeconomic, nutrition and health aspects of communities targeting small indigenous fish?
iv. What is the nutritional and livelihood value lost through post-harvest loss and waste of Usipa?
v. How can effective and context-appropriate strategies be developed and implemented to reduce post-harvest loss and waste in Usipa value chains, including through post-harvest handling procedures that maintain optimal quality of small indigenous fish species?

For further information please contact the supervisor(s):
John Linton, Commercial Director, Natural Resources Institute
Professor Emmanuel Kaunda, Director, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources /
Bursary available (subject to satisfactory performance):
Year 1: £15,009 Year 2: In line with UKRI rate Year 3: In line with UKRI rate
Scholarships are available for three years, full-time study from the date scholars first register as an MPhil/PhD student with the university. The successful candidate will receive a waiver for tuition fees for the duration of their three-year scholarship. Students may be liable for tuition fees after this period. Applicants must meet the programme entry requirements.
For additional information about the scholarship please go to:

Please read this information before making an application. Applications need to be made online via No other form of application will be considered.

All applications must include the following information. Applications not containing these documents will not be considered.
• In the first part of the application select the following: Food Science and Marketing Economics (MPhil/PhD)

• Scholarship Reference Number (Ref) – included in the personal statement section together with your personal statement as to why you are applying

• a CV including 2 referees *

• academic qualification certificates/transcripts and IELTs/English Language certificate if you are an international applicant or if English is not your first language or you are from a country where English is not the majority spoken language as defined by the UK Border Agency *

*upload to the qualification section of the application form. Attachments need to be in PDF format.

The closing date for applications is midnight (UTC) on 20 November 2019
The scholarship must commence before 6 January 2020

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Greenwich in Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 23.50

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