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Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Horticulture

Establishing a horticulture center in Guinea

Guinea: Starting a youth-led postharvest center

Browse Horticulture Innovation Lab photos from Guinea, with the photo slideshow above or explore the photos on Flickr.

Project Title: Youth-Led Horticulture Training and Services Center

Target Country: Guinea

Principal Investigator: Horticulture Innovation Lab*

*Note: This project is a $480,000 buy-in from USAID/Guinea, managed by the Horticulture Innovation Lab.


Project description

Developing the horticulture sector in Guinea is an important part of improving the capacity of smallholder farmers to grow, eat, and market fruits and vegetables. For most Guineans, agriculture is both the main source of sustenance and of income, even if agricultural productivity is low. Increasing both household and commercial production, marketing, processing, and storage of fruits and vegetables leads to diversified cropping systems, diversified diets, and greater resiliency.

In a previous report for USAID, the Horticulture Innovation Lab identified major constraints to improving household and commercial production of fruits and vegetables. The report identified opportunities for investing in nutrition training, postharvest processing and handling, and food preservation. Farmers who succeed at horticultural production would benefit from training in postharvest handling, packaging and storage. Consumers would benefit from having access to better stored and better processed foods. Supporting crop diversification, investing in the seed system, and scaling-up labor-saving technologies would strengthen the horticulture sector across all wealth classes, genders, and Livelihood Zones.

Involving youth in agriculture has become a major focus in development as this provides opportunities for young people to build skills and exercise leadership in their communities. In addition, programs that involve universities, extension services, local organizations, government, schools and the private sector can be tremendous catalysts for change.

This project establishes a Horticulture Training and Services Center on the IRAG campus, with leadership from young entrepreneurs who are part of the AVENIR program (Agents en Vulgarisation, Entrepreneuriat et Innovation Rurale, or “agents of extension, entrepreneurship and rural innovation") with Feed the Future Guinea Agricultural Services. The AVENIRs will serve as extension agents and establish revenue-generating training modules at the Horticulture Training and Services Center at IRAG that will feature appropriate technologies and best agricultural practices. Technologies featured include the CoolBot, drip irrigation, the UC Davis-designed chimney solar dryer, the DryCard, plastic mulch, and others. The center's promotion of these technologies aims to address horticultural production and storage needs, improve production practices and reduce postharvest losses in Guinea — with a focus on market-based solutions.

This project will:

This project builds upon these related activities:


Updates and more information

See recent blog posts about our work in Guinea.