Research Planning Grant Recipients

Grants are offered to universities.
Quotes are excerpted from grant proposals.

Royal Veterinary College (U.K.)

Test new research method for identifying links between food policies and consumer demand for chickens and eggs in India.

The grant supports a pilot study in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu to collect data and test a new research method that can be very useful in understanding the links between government food policies and rising demand by the country’s consumers for chickens and eggs, not just in different Indian states but also in other Southeast Asia countries (e.g. Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka). The study is done in collaboration with Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University.

Tamil Nadu is chosen for the pilot because poultry production is very important to that state’s economy, and because of the poultry consumption patterns there. It holds the second-largest population of egg-producing hens in the country, and one of the highest populations of concentration of vertically integrated commercial poultry farms. It is also a state with high social policies interventions.

New York University (U.S.)

Map networks that support or engage in sustainable, humane agriculture in agrarian low- and middle-income countries.

The grant assists research to map networks that support or engage in sustainable agriculture across predominately agrarian low- and middle-income countries – networks that can help the countries to shift away from factory farming and move towards agriculture systems that are humane and sustainable.

Considered for mapping are networks, cooperatives, and public-private partnerships that originate from, for example, government agencies and services that advise farming communities, policies aimed at innovations, conservation initiatives, international bodies that assist countries to develop.

For each country, questions that will be asked include:

  • Are sustainable farming programs and networks present, and to what extent?
  • Who is conducting or organizing them on the national, state, and local level?
  • What is their funding capacity?
  • Who is involved in these programs? (Solely producers, local or national government, NGOs, transnational corporations, etc.)

New York University (U.S.)

How large-scale farming of octopus in countries such as Mexico, Chile, Spain, China is developed and financed.

The grant is used to lay the groundwork of an investigative study into recent interest in various countries (e.g. Mexico, Chile, Spain, China) in developing and financing large-scale farming of octopus for human consumption.

Among the work to be supported by the grant is a systematic review of the literature (academic papers and gray literature as well as government grants/subsidies databases) in order to understand industry funding, government subsidies, and university-based investments that are aimed at getting the mass production of octopus off the ground.

University of Colorado, Boulder (U.S.)

Identify interventions to decrease consumption of animal-based food in different parts of the world for a systematic review of their efficacy.

There are various strategies, methods, interventions studied and promoted by academics, governments, NGOs to try to decrease the consumption of animal-based food. Is the evidence used to back up these strategies robust and appropriate? The research project being developed focuses on the systematic review and assessment of the evidence used in all these interventions that have been put forward by a multitude of parties.

Particular attention will be paid to noting which country a piece of evidence comes from, and socio-economic factors that may affect the relevance of an intervention to a country and context. And high-standard systematic review protocols will be used (e.g. Cochrane).

A side benefit is the development of a classification system or taxonomy of the many interventions.

The grant supports the work to identify interventions that will be reviewed:

  • A thorough literature search to find out about interventions and research that have been published.
  • Interviews with 5-10 experts to evaluate the exhaustiveness of the list of interventions and to identify any additional interventions that might have missed.

Lille Catholic University (France)

Farmer-led strategies to resist factory farming in the Global South

The research project is about “understanding the dynamics of small-scale and industrial livestock production in emerging economies such as Brazil, India, and China, as well as regions of the world that have traditionally received less attention in ‘pro-poor’ agricultural development, such as parts of West Africa or East Africa”.

The project aims to:

  •  Understand both immediately recognizable forms of resistance to industrial livestock expansion (such as protest) and “everyday forms of resistance” (less dramatic acts such as non-compliance) that are employed by pastoralists and small-scale livestock farmers in rural and urban contexts.
  •  “Identify mechanisms through which livestock farmers and pastoralists in specific Global South locations may learn from farmers in other regions of the world about successful agricultural, advocacy, and/or policy strategies to resist industrial livestock development.”

University of Edinburgh (U.K.)

Alternative model to industrial poultry operations in South India involving the use of indigenous slower-growing poultry breeds

The project will:

  •  “Assess the viability of ‘country bird’ farming as an alternative to industrial poultry expansion in South India, and identify interventions that could help it succeed.”
  •  Assess whether a model developed for “local collaboration in South India – an approach that engages village-level veterinarians and farmer advocates as community educators and researchers” can be replicated for “international NGOs working on animal welfare issues in India”.
  •  “Conduct a landscape analysis of the contours and drivers of food animal production systems in Tamil Nadu, in order to inform interventions in India by international organizations, philanthropists, investors, and the Indian government itself that directly or indirectly enhance the welfare of farmed animals.”

University of Adelaide (Australia)

Globalization’s impact on industrial animal agricultural expansion and animal welfare in developing countries reliant on halal production practices

The research project seeks to understand the direct and indirect impact and interplay of several complex issues:

  •  Animal welfare concerns within halal slaughter practices
  •  International regulations (e.g. WTO law) and local rules affecting these practices
  •  International trade and export of meat as well as live animals from high-income countries to low and middle-income predominantly Muslim countries (e.g. Kuwait, Indonesia)
  •  Expansion of industrial-scale meat production in the latter

University of Waterloo (Canada)

Financial supports enabling factory farming industry to expand to emerging markets, and interventions that can impede the expansion

The research project will explore:

  •  “Financial supports that enable the factory farming industry to operate and expand (with a special focus on emerging markets like India).”
  •  “Viability and efficacy of various interventions advocates could pursue to impede the factory farming industry’s ability to expand into emerging markets.”

The research will look into issues such as: (1) “Analogs from disrupted industries” (e.g. horse and carriage, coal, newspapers). (2) “Investment guidelines for trusts” held by pension funds, faith-based organizations, governments. (3) “Examples of catastrophic financial events that have affected factory farming operations”. (4) “The financial risks investors (private public, and government) face when they are involved in factory farming” (e.g. lawsuits, food poisonings, human epidemics, waste regulation, animal cruelty scandals, climate disasters). (5) “How the capital from debt and equity investors flows into factory farms”.