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Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Horticulture

Horticulture Innovation Lab announcement

Jan. 27, 2015

New Trellis Fund projects awarded

photo: American student listens and takes notes as Guatemalan woman speaks

Bob Johnson, a UC Davis graduate student, worked with farmers in Kenya on potato production, for a previous Trellis Fund project. (Additional photos of previous Trellis Fund projects available from an album on Flickr.)

The Horticulture Innovation Lab has awarded 14 new Trellis Fund projects, led by organizations in nine countries with technical support provided by grad students from three U.S. universities — including the University of Florida, North Carolina State University, and the University of California, Davis.

Nine Eleven graduate students from UC Davis have been selected to provide support to new Trellis Fund projects, including:

From the University of Florida: Two graduate students will support Trellis Fund projects in Ghana. Libby Rens, a Ph.D. student in the Horticultural Sciences Department, will work on smallholder pepper and okra production with Samsford Enterprises. Dev Paudel, a Ph.D. student in the Agronomy Department, will work with the Kayaba Management Foundation to develop a project that builds capacity for postharvest-related research.

From North Carolina State University: Samuel McGowen, of the Horticulture Department, will travel to Nepal to support a pesticide safety project with vegetable farmers.

Two additional Trellis projects have been selected for funding, but are awaiting final student matches (see note below).

New Trellis projects for 2014-2015

  • 14 organizations funded
  • projects in 9 Feed the Future countries: Zambia, Malawi, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Nepal, Bangladesh and Guatemala
  • topics: soil management, integrated pest management, vegetable gardens, postharvest practices, solar drying, seed storage, pesticide safety, market access, sweet potato cultivation

Trellis totals, so far:

  • 52 projects funded, total
  • projects spanned 16 Feed the Future countries
  • Of the first 23 projects completed, 3,865 farmers participated

The Trellis Fund pairs U.S. graduate students with organizations in developing countries for small horticultural projects. Students will travel to act as project consultants for their partner organization and will provide additional support by email. Organizations are provided $2,000 in funding to support their projects with smallholder fruit and vegetable farmers.

The Trellis Fund is managed by the Horticulture Innovation Lab at UC Davis, in partnership with North Carolina State University, the University of Florida and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. The program is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, as part of Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative.

For more information about these projects and the Horticulture Innovation Lab’s Trellis Fund, visit

The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Horticulture (or "Horticulture Innovation Lab") builds international partnerships for fruit and vegetable research that improves livelihoods in developing countries. The program is led by a team at UC Davis, with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development as part of the U.S. government's Feed the Future initiative. For more information, visit

Editor's note and update

February 23, 2015: Two students have been selected for the remaining two Trellis Fund projects. The students names have been added to the lists above.

More information