Webinar recording available: Perspectives on agri-food system sustainability in East Africa

In partnership with the Global Food and Environment Institute at the University of Leeds, on 18 June we were pleased to welcome academics, researchers, policymakers and students from around the world to our public knowledge-sharing webinar, ‘Perspectives on Agri-Food System Sustainability in East Africa’.

Chaired by Dr. Stephen Whitfield from the University of Leeds’ School of Earth and Environment, the hour-long session examined the social and ecological dynamics shaping East Africa, featuring three presentations on PhD projects in the ESRC White Rose Doctoral Training Centre Network Collaboration on the Social Science of Agri-Food System Sustainability.

Covering case studies from the coffee sector, avocado supply chains, and coastal land use, the presenters shared unique perspectives while exploring complex themes of governance, power, and livelihoods.

Guest speakers included Jose Vega Barbero, PhD student in the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds; Jonas Cromwell, PhD student at the University of Sheffield in the Department of Geography; and Professor Robert Marchant from the University of York. Read the speaker topics and bios below to learn more about their research and presentations.


Guest speaker presentation topics and bios

Jose Vega Barbero

Topic: Examination of power dynamics in governance models in the coffee sector: Insights from East Africa.

Bio: Jose is a PhD student in the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds. His study looks at the governance models operating in Eastern Africa’s coffee sector through the lens of power. Despite the efforts of existing governance models to balance uneven distributions of costs and benefits among coffee actors, they are still happening. This study investigates how power dynamics influence the distribution of costs and benefits. Further understanding of power dynamics in the context of governance models, can deliver alternative pathways to understand better how governance models should be adjusted to challenge the uneven allocations of costs and benefits among coffee actors.


Jonas Cromwell

Topic: Understanding food waste within the agricultural production system: What can institutions, practices and materiality tell us?

Bio: Jonas is a PhD student at the Department of Geography, University of Sheffield. His research focuses on food waste in the avocado production system in Tanzania, East Africa. In the context of Tanzania’s unique domestic and export avocado supply chains, Jonas’ research seeks to understand how institutions, practices and materiality intersect to produce waste in agricultural production focusing on the upstream of the avocado supply chain.


Professor Robert Marchant

Topic: Challenges in paradise: water, food and energy demands on the Zanzibar

Bio:Prof Robert Marchant leads the research for the spatial and temporal dynamics of tropical ecosystems, their societal value and challenges to their conservation. In this talk, he will be presenting the work of Rebecca Newman, a PhD student at the University of York. Her research aims to contribute to understandings of the challenges coastal communities are experiencing across the Zanzibar archipelago, Tanzania. Rebecca is using participatory methods to assess the impacts of climate change, tourism, and economic development on the Water, Food and Energy nexus and how these may evolve in the future.


Watch the webinar recording to learn more

Missed the event? Watch the webinar recording below. For more knowledge-sharing seminar recordings, visit the AFRICAP YouTube channel.