The Horticulture Innovation Lab's Trellis Fund
PRIDE in Bangladesh worked with graduate student Brittany Pierce on a Trellis project about pest management. See more photos from the Horticulture Innovation Lab's Trellis projects by visiting our Trellis Fund album on Flickr.
Browse photos from Horticulture Innovation Lab Trellis projects (photo slideshow on Flickr).
Supporting local organizations with student agricultural expertise
The Horticulture Innovation Lab's Trellis Fund provides small-scale, in-country development organizations access to U.S. graduate student expertise, providing benefits to both the student and the in-country institutions. While addressing horticultural challenges, the organizations build relationships with tomorrow's agricultural experts while also broadening students' perspectives. Trellis Fund projects may address horticultural crop production, irrigation, plant nutrition, pest management, postharvest practices, marketing issues in relation to fruits, vegetables and high-value horticultural crops.
Current status: The Trellis Fund is currently completing its fourth round of projects and is in the recruitment process for a future, fifth round of projects. Jan. 18, 2016 was the deadline for organizations to submit a proposal. Funding decisions will be made by April 29, 2016. Graduate student recruitment is not expected to take place until the fall of 2016. Funding for selected projects will be available for the 2017 calendar year. Questions about the proposal, review, and application processes should be sent to TrellisFund@gmail.com. Details from the past application processes are below.
The Horticulture Innovation Lab has completed three rounds of Trellis Fund projects so far. Accomplishments from the first 38 completed Trellis projects include:
- 6,420 farmer participants (71% women)
- 180 demonstration plots
- more than 184 training and extension meetings
Photos collected from student trips for Trellis projects are available in our Trellis album on Flickr.
The Horticulture Innovation Lab awarded its fourth round of Trellis Fund projects in January 2015, to organizations in nine countries with grad students from three universities. Some projects have already been completed, while others will finish by the end of January 2016.
Listed below are the current Trellis Fund projects, by country with the lead organization's name, student's information and a basic project description. A new process in this round of Trellis means that several projects were proposed as "concept notes" and will first go through a proposal development process with students, before potentially being funded as full "technical projects."
- Ghana: Kayaba Management Foundation
Dev Paudel, University of Florida
This concept note is focused on building capacity for postharvest-related research.
- Ghana: Tip Top Foods, Ltd.
Gabe LaHue, UC Davis
This concept note is focused on sweet potato cultivation, comparing the use of vines to slips for planting.
- Ghana: Kumasi Institute of Tropical Agriculture
Jason Tsichlis, UC Davis
This technical project focuses on moringa, with demonstration plots and training in both production and processing.
- Ghana: Samsford Enterprises
Libby Rens, University of Florida
This technical project will promote pepper and okra production to smallholder farmers, through trainings and a demonstration garden.
- Mali: Rural Polytechnic Institute of Training and Applied Research (IPR/IFRA)
Mark Felice, UC Davis
This technical project will train pepper farmers in postharvest handling and processing techniques.
- Zambia: Tikondane Community Centre
Miguel Macias González, UC Davis
This concept note is focused on seed storage and solar drying fruits and vegetables.
- Malawi: Kusamala Institute of Agriculture and Ecology
Deirdre Griffin, UC Davis
This technical project will provide soil science workshops and simple soil testing to farmers in the Khundi village.
- Kenya: Development in Gardening
Belinda Richardson, UC Davis
This technical project will train farmers in western Kenya’s Migori district to grow for markets, pilot an aggregation service and open an organic produce market stall.
- Kenya: African PRIDE Centre
Weiyuan Zhu, UC Davis
This technical project will promote sweet potato production and marketing around the Emuhaya district.
- Ethiopia: Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management
Emily Gousen, UC Davis
This concept note is focused on reducing postharvest losses for fruit and vegetable crops at markets in Addis Ababa.
- Nepal: Center for Agricultural Research and Development Nepal
Samuel McGowen, North Carolina State University
This technical project will train vegetable farmers in pesticide safety information and pesticide handling in the Chitwan district.
- Bangladesh: PRIDE
Brittany Pierce, UC Davis
This concept note is focused on integrated pest management and safe pesticide handling for farmers who grow cucurbits and eggplants.
- Bangladesh: Regional Center at Kasetsart University
Macarena Farcuh, UC Davis
This technical project will support postharvest training for smallholder farmers in Bangladesh, with faculty from Thailand’s Kasetsart University and the Horticulture Innovation Lab’s Regional Center.
- Guatemala: Iglesia Luterano Augustina de Guatemala
Brandon Louie, UC Davis
This concept note is focused on teaching basic vegetable gardening skills to women in Cimientos, a remote village of former refugees.
Past Trellis Fund projects
Third round of projects: In the third round, 2013-2014 Trellis projects (PDF) included 14 projects in 9 countries. Initially, 13 new projects were announced and later an additional 14th project was awarded after USAID resumed its agricultural work in Mali. More details are available in a fact sheet (PDF) and press release. An article in CA&ES Outlook magazine also profiled a UC Davis student's experience in Bangladesh with a Trellis project.
Second round: See more details about the second round of projects on the 2012-2013 fact sheet (PDF), or read the press release announcing the awards. Student participants from this round also shared their experiences in a press release promoting the third call for applications and in a related newsletter article.
Please note: We are not currently seeking student applications to participate in Trellis Fund projects. The next student recruitment is expected to take place in Fall 2016, for projects funded from current proposals which will take place in 2017-2018. We will update this page when student recruitment begins, or you may want to sign up for our email list to make sure you receive a notification in your Inbox. Text and documents below are provided for information only, based on the most recent previous student recruitment.
Graduate students at the Horticulture Innovation Lab's partner institutions are invited to apply to participate in Trellis Fund projects: UC Davis, North Carolina State University, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and University of Florida. Foreign students enrolled at the participating universities may be eligible to participate in Trellis projects, depending on visa type. Please email TrellisFund@gmail.com with questions.
For additional details of this round's student application process, please see:
- Applications directions (PDF) for more details on how to apply
- Project descriptions (PDF) to select your priority projects
Questions about this process can be directed to TrellisFund@gmail.com.
Please note: We are not currently seeking project proposals from organizations for Trellis. The most recent deadline was Jan. 18, 2016. The documents and other details below are for information only. If you would like to make sure to hear of our next call for project proposals, you may want to consider signing up for our email list.
Organizations in developing countries are invited to submit a project proposal that addresses a horticultural problem facing local farmers, which would also include the involvement of a graduate student consultant. The maximum funding available for each project is $2,000, with funding available for 15 projects. The deadline to submit proposals is Jan. 18, 2016.
Proposals from organizations in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Rwanda, Senegal, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia will be considered. Organizations with 50 or fewer staff members will receive priority. Please note that proposals may be declined due to security concerns.
A complete project proposal will include intended objectives, activities, graduate student engagement, gender program, a plan for monitoring and evaluation, staff resumes, and a $2,000 budget for consideration. Successful applicants will be paired with a U.S. graduate student with relevant technical expertise.
- Project proposals due: Jan. 18, 2016
- Funding decisions by: April 29, 2016
- Funding available: Jan. 1, 2017
- Six-month projects must be completed by: Dec. 31, 2017
Directions and documents:
Questions? Contact TrellisFund@gmail.com with questions about the proposal process.
Resources for current Trellis students
Looking for forms for travel or reimbursement? Here is our information for Trellis students who are currently participating in these projects.