Increasing Smallholder Farmer Horticulture Production and Empowering Youth

researcher with woman farmer in field
Empowering youth entrepreneurs through appropriate horticulture interventions in Nepal. Image credit: FORWARD Nepal.


Increasing Smallholder Farmer Horticulture Production and Empowering Youth

[DAVIS] – The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Horticulture is pleased to announce the launch of three new regionally-led research initiatives to be coordinated by the Horticulture Innovation Lab’s South Asia Regional Hub Manager, Krishna Sapkota, based at FORWARD Nepal in Kathmandu.

Each research project effectively addresses regional priorities – increasing horticulture production efficiency and empowering youth – which were identified by stakeholders based in South Asia. The projects span a wide range of horticulture research initiatives designed to increase production in urban and peri-urban environments, reduce the impact of soil-borne pathogens on tomatoes and peppers, and engage youth in profit-oriented horticulture production systems. The three projects and their foci are as follows:

Sapkota looks forward to what the future holds. “I am very optimistic and excited to see these regionally-led and globally-supported Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Horticulture research projects launch,” he said. “They address our regional priorities of increasing production efficiency and empowering youth - thus furthering development of the horticulture sector in South Asia, while also contributing impactful research and development to benefit the global community.”

"I'm genuinely excited about these new initiatives,” said Erin McGuire, Director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Horticulture. “We have the right PIs and regional hubs in place, and I have full confidence in their ability to meet these challenges. This is about more than just increasing production; it's about sustainability, nutrition, and empowering our next generation of researchers in Nepal and Bangladesh."

For more information about our Research Project Portfolio and collaboration opportunities, please visit or contact Associate Director, Archie Jarman at

farmers in banana farm field
Mitigating soilborne diseases to improve smallholder farmer livelihoods and food security in Nepal. Image credit: Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC).
urban rooftop farm
Advancing technology based on urban and peri-urban horticulture needs in Bangladesh and Nepal. Image credit: Bangladesh Agriculture University (BAU).

About Us
Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Horticulture, also known as the Horticulture Innovation Lab, is funded by the United States Agency for International Development as part of the Feed the Future global hunger and food security initiative, based at the University of California, Davis, within the Department of Plant Sciences. With a focus on horticultural, social and technological advancements, we develop groundbreaking solutions to improve nutrition and food security. As advocates for innovations and policies that promote gender equity, social and environmental responsibility, we are dedicated to improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers while empowering communities through horticulture, including better access to nutrition and healthy diets.

For media inquiries contact Communications Manager, Heather Hayashi at

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