PAW1: Limiting the intensification of factory farms in LMICs
resolved Jul 27

As part of Charity Entrepreneurship's 2023 Top Ideas contest, will we select "Limiting the intensification of factory farms in LMICs" as a top Preventive Animal Welfare intervention?

Idea overview

This charity idea focuses on curbing the expansion of factory farming and intensification in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). Potential strategies include advocating for more robust animal welfare laws, protecting small-scale farmers, targeting corporate campaigns at multinational companies planning to intensify farming, and raising awareness about the consequences of farm intensification. The charity could build its case on various grounds, such as environmental concerns, animal rights, and human health implications. The exact approach is to be determined through further research.

Preventive animal welfare

This year our focus is on interventions and policies that prevent future harms done to animals, as opposed to solving current problems. We will be looking for interventions that, as well as having some short run evidence of impact, will prevent future problems, i.e., have the biggest impact on farmed animals in the future, say 35 years from now.

We intend to select 2-4 ideas out of the 10 presented to recommend to entrepreneurs who enter our incubation program. This market resolves YES if this idea is chosen; NO otherwise.

About the contest

In partnership with Charity Entrepreneurship, Manifold is sponsoring a $2000 forecasting tournament to inform which ideas end up selected

  • You can win part of a $1000 prize pool as a forecaster, for best predicting which interventions we choose.

  • You can win one of ten $100 prizes for posting an informative comment on Manifold that most influences our decision.

For contest details and all markets, see the group CE 2023 Top Ideas.

Get Ṁ500 play money

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🏅 Top traders

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JesusDeSivar avatar
Jesus Of Sivarpredicted YES

Related market:

1941159478 avatar
Johnny Ten-Numberspredicted NO

This is the proposal I am most skeptical of in this contest. Animals in LMIC might be a huge and important group, but (based on not a whole lot of evidence of thought) I think it’s a poor fit for Charity Entrepreneurship because of its potential downside potential.

Say what you will about factory farming, it’s efficient at cheaply feeding people. There are charities almost doing the exact opposite and explicitly trying to support of animal agriculture in LMIC, like the World Poultry Foundation and the International Livestock Research Institute.

Of course, a charity trying to implement this proposal would be aware of this. And there presumably are some win-wins for animal welfare. But the venture philanthropy model doesn't seem as good a fit when there’s a big downside. Not to put too fine a points on it, but agricultural policy just seems like the area where “move fast and break things” is the least helpful. There’s already organizations doing animal welfare from and/or in LMIC, and then it’s not clear one more is necessarily good.

ThijsJacobs avatar
Thijs Jacobsbought Ṁ20 of NO

The idea is still pretty vague, other than 'focus on LMIC'. In case it is neglected, this could be a good idea. Though intuitively, one need to reinvent new strategies for LMIC, other than the ones that have worked in HIC.

EvanLaForge avatar
Evan LaForgebought Ṁ20 of NO

I don't think this intervention is super unlikely, but definitely less likely than the market reads. Pushing animal welfare causes is likely more challenging in LMICs if the co-founders are outsiders, as they typically are. There is also a strong limitation on impact based on the number of countries required to operate in to truly decrease the total suffering, but these campaigns will likely be difficult due to profit incentives.

AB465e avatar
A Bpredicted YES

Arguing for curbing the expansion of factory farming and intensification in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) as a top idea for Charity Entrepreneurship:

1. Environmental Concerns:

Factory farming and intensification have significant environmental consequences. They contribute to deforestation, soil degradation, water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. Curbing the expansion of factory farming can help mitigate these negative impacts and promote more sustainable agricultural practices. By advocating for responsible farming methods, the charity can work towards protecting ecosystems, preserving biodiversity, and combating climate change.

2. Animal Welfare:

Factory farming often involves inhumane practices, such as confining animals in cramped spaces, subjecting them to stressful conditions, and using antibiotics and hormones to maximize production. Advocating for more robust animal welfare laws can help improve the lives of millions of animals in LMICs. The charity can work towards promoting humane farming practices, reducing animal suffering, and encouraging the adoption of animal welfare standards in the industry.

3. Protection of Small-Scale Farmers:

Factory farming can have detrimental effects on small-scale farmers in LMICs. Large-scale operations and intensification can squeeze out small farmers, leading to land consolidation and decreased economic opportunities for local communities. By targeting corporate campaigns at multinational companies planning to intensify farming, the charity can protect the livelihoods of small-scale farmers and promote fair and sustainable agricultural practices that benefit local economies.

4. Human Health Implications:

Factory farming practices can pose risks to human health. The overcrowded and unsanitary conditions in intensive farming operations can increase the prevalence of zoonotic diseases, including antibiotic-resistant bacteria. By raising awareness about the consequences of farm intensification, the charity can educate the public about the potential health risks associated with these practices. Promoting healthier and more sustainable alternatives can help safeguard public health and reduce the burden on healthcare systems.

Against curbing the expansion of factory farming and intensification in LMICs:

1. Food Security and Economic Development:

Factory farming and intensification can help meet the increasing demand for affordable food in LMICs, contributing to food security and economic development. These methods often result in higher yields and lower production costs, allowing for more efficient food production. Restricting or curbing factory farming may lead to increased food prices and hinder economic growth, particularly in regions where alternative agricultural practices may not be readily available or feasible.

2. Increased Efficiency and Productivity:

Factory farming and intensification techniques are designed to maximize productivity and efficiency, enabling farmers to produce more food with fewer resources. This can be crucial in addressing the challenges of feeding a growing global population. Limiting the expansion of factory farming might impede the progress of agricultural advancements and hinder efforts to increase food production in a world facing ongoing food security concerns.

3. Local Market Competitiveness:

Intensification of farming in LMICs can improve the competitiveness of local markets by enabling larger-scale production and reducing reliance on imported food. This can provide opportunities for job creation, economic growth, and poverty reduction. Curbing the expansion of factory farming may limit the ability of LMICs to compete in the global agricultural market and impede their efforts to strengthen their local food systems.

BTE avatar
Brian T. Edwards

Why don’t we get any information on the people making these proposals?? How can we judge the quality of the idea without also assessing the person who had it? Like is this all the information you got from these people?!? There is not even close to enough here to chose which projects deserve funding. @CE

2 replies
BTE avatar
Brian T. Edwards

@CE Clearer Thinking gave us 15-25 pages on each project with detailed budget and plan for executing. You gave us two sentences. This is not really a serious contest.

finnhambly avatar
Finn Hamblypredicted YES

@BTE I'm pretty sure this is more of a brainstorming exercise; they've generated ideas for new charities from scratch, and then will incubate a team of people to start them if they're considered worthwhile.

So it's different to the Clearer Thinking contest because we're not evaluating proposals that have been fully fleshed out.

jack avatar

This idea proposal seems extremely broad. E.g. compare to which focuses much more narrowly on a specific plan of action.

"The exact approach is to be determined through further research." - ok sure, but what sort of research? What data will the research collect? How will it decide between different possibilities?

1 reply
finnhambly avatar
Finn Hamblypredicted YES

@jack you can increase the chances of this one being funded by suggesting a particularly compelling line of research such a charity should take

AnishaZaveri avatar
Anisha Zaveribought Ṁ10 of YES

GPT-4 ranked this as #1