Here is a list of the PhD candidates that I am currently supervising.

Britt Broekhaus (Sociology of Development and Change)
Topic: plant-based alternatives to meat

Getu Demeke Alene (Sociology of Development and Change)
Title: ‘Development Intervention toward Food Security: An Ethnography of Productive Safety Nets Program (PSNP) Implementation in Pastoral Somali Region of Ethiopia’

Description: Aimed at addressing the chronic food security problems of rural households, Ethiopian government – in collaboration with donors –  launched the Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) in 2005 in agrarian highlands. The central objective of this research is to investigate how Somali pastoralists entangle with PSNP. Drawing on ethnographic approach, this research specifically explores how Somali pastoralists’ local food security practices/livelihoods and socio-cultural practices reinforce each other to shape pastoralists’ (re)interpretation of and response to PSNP; how food security street-level actors and local development brokers (such as clan leaders and pastoral community associations) interact with Somali pastoralists in translating PSNP into practices.

Maria Contesse Ayala (Knowledge, Technology and Innovation)
Title: ‘Change agents facilitating ecologically intensive production and value chains’

Description: Transitioning towards ecologically and socio-economically sustainable production and marketing require combined ecological, technological, social and institutional change. Current innovation systems in Latin American countries, including Chile and Uruguay, are oriented towards high external input agriculture, and see innovation as science-driven technological change. Co-innovation, while successful at a small scale, requires work beyond the farm level. Public and private actors throughout the food system need to fulfil key change agency roles in the transition to ecologically intensive production and value chains providing knowledge and mobilizing resources.

Thais Basinello (Rural Sociology)
Title: ‘Challenges for Home-Grown School Feeding in Sub-Saharan Africa’

Description: School feeding (SF) started in all districts in Uganda in 1983 as a post-war relief intervention carried out by the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP). It continued during the 1990’s in conflict-affected and refugee-hosting districts as a social protection measure. By 2004, it covered approximately 400,000 beneficiaries, although since 1999 WFP’s Country Programme has focused its interventions in Karamoja, the region that presents the country’s worst socioeconomic indicators. The Government of Uganda (GoU) encourages parents to send a packed school lunch for their children (a practice that was apparently initiated in a USAID intervention), but with little adherence, especially in rural areas.



Midori Hiraga (Kyoto University)
The development trajectory of vegetable oil industry based on the global oil-crops in agro-extractivism

Description: Vegetable oils dominant in today’s food system are heavily trade-dependent commodities. The leading vegetable oils like palm oil and soybean oil are produced in very limited number of countries, which are not native locality of these oil crops; 85.4% of world supply of palm oil was produced in two countries of Indonesia and Malaysia in 2012, and the three countries of USA, Brazil, and Argentina have constantly accounted for 70 to 80 percent of global soybean production. More than 70% of palm oil produced in the world is exported, hitting the peak of 83.0% in 2005. In case of soybean, though less degree, the percentage of export against the global production has been increasing in last decade, reaching 40.2% in 2012 (FAOstat, 2015).

In order to understand how this unbalanced and unnatural structure of global vegetable oil supply has been developed, this paper focuses on the crucial crisis of fats and oils shortage caused by Japanese occupation of major oil crop producing area in WW2, and how the global governance of vegetable oil was re-structured coping with that crisis in post war period.