Call for Trellis Fund project proposals

Four people sit smiling outdoors
Development in Gardening (DIG) in Kenya led a Trellis Fund project this year, with support from UC Davis graduate student, Belinda Richardson (on right).

The Horticulture Innovation Lab is seeking project proposals from organizations in developing countries for small horticultural projects, through its Trellis Fund.

The Trellis Fund will offer 15 grants, up to $2,000 each, to local organizations for six-month projects that address horticultural challenges in the region. Organizations in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Rwanda, Senegal, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia are eligible to apply.

Project proposals must identify a problem faced by local farmers related to horticultural crop production, irrigation, plant nutrition, pest management, postharvest practices, marketing issues or related socio-economic processes. Once selected for funding, organizations will be matched with a U.S. graduate student who will support the project as an agricultural consultant. The Trellis Fund provides additional support to students for travel during project implementation.

Graduate student and farmer examine a plant sample in a field
A graduate student who studies plant pathology examines a sample in Bangladesh during a Trellis Fund project led by PRIDE.

Now in its fifth round of funding, the Trellis Fund will focus more on building stronger relationships between the selected organizations and the Horticulture Innovation Lab, with extended vetting and capacity building activities before projects begin in January 2017.

“We will be a lot more involved and engaged with organizations selected for Trellis funding from the very beginning, to create an environment of support and capacity building,” said Elyssa Lewis, Trellis Fund coordinator. “We want these projects to not only help smallholder farmers, but also to provide the organizations with technical expertise and foster ongoing relationships with tomorrow’s agricultural experts.”

Project proposals are due Jan. 18, 2016. Details and RFP documents are available at

“We have a wonderful network of partners, who have successfully recommended the Trellis Fund opportunity to their extended networks in the past,” said Beth Mitcham, director of the Horticulture Innovation Lab. “Trellis Fund projects are an excellent opportunity for organizations to begin working with the Horticulture Innovation Lab and its global team.”

The Horticulture Innovation Lab and its Trellis Fund are led by the University of California, Davis, with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development, as part of the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative called Feed the Future.




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