Successful Workshop on Food Security and Sanitation Nexus


The 2018 AAUN PRDF funded project “Enabling a food-phosphorus-sanitation sustainability network” held a successful workshop on 29 January 2019 in Blantyre, Malawi.

The aim of the workshop was to enable a knowledge network to advance activities that deliver on both agriculture and waste management development outcomes. During the workshops, representatives from smallholder farmer groups, local councils, three African universities, one UK university, one Australian university, and entrepreneurs got together to discuss barriers and opportunities for advancing food-sanitation research and projects. The workshop focused on how major issues in ecosystem integrity, public and private institutions, and farming and community behaviours can shift to work towards integrative management of the sectors by 2030. Participants also learned from experiences in Zambia and Ethiopia, leveraging from the presence of international guests supported by the AAUN.


These are piles of organic compost produced by a local project that employs 20+ people. They gather food waste from the local market, manually sort it, burn it, and create compost that farmers and businesses can use.


Major thematic issues discussed during the workshop included the role of circular economy approaches being supported, enabling private sector investment and ensuring strong institutional enforcement, and advancing certification opportunities for smallholders to have a competitive advantage in markets. These issues require networks that bring together multi-stakeholder perspectives, so that they can collectively create the interventions required to improve both agricultural and waste management systems.


A waste water management facility being built to separate and treat waste.


The research team of this project has published an article in The Conversation. Please follow the link to the article Connecting food waste and sanitation services can help African farmers.


The core project team and the compost facility manager.


Project team:

  1. Federico Davila, University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Australia
  2. Elizabeth Tilley, University of Malawi:The Polytechnic, Malawi
  3. Dana Cordell, Unviersity of Technology Sydney (UTS), Australia
  4. Alice Mweetwa, University of Zambia, Zambia
  5. Gudina Terefe Tucho, Jimma University, Ethiopia
  6. Ruben Sakrabani, Cranfield University, UK