Nine new Trellis Fund projects awarded

smiling group of farmers and researchers outdoors, in front of school house with usaid logo banner
Group photo from a 2014 Trellis Fund project, after a farmer workshop in Kenya focused on improving postharvest practices with mangoes, led by the University of Nairobi with Ngoc Nham, UC Davis student.

The Horticulture Innovation Lab has announced nine new projects in Africa and Asia as part of its Trellis Fund program.

Each of these six-month projects is funded with a $2,000 grant, with work scheduled to begin in 2017. A U.S. graduate student with related expertise will be matched to each project, to provide additional agricultural knowledge and support for local goals.

“We are pleased to build new relationships with local organizations, with support from our innovative Trellis Fund program,” said Elizabeth Mitcham, director of the Horticulture Innovation Lab at the University of California, Davis. “We believe this model, which links knowledgeable U.S. university students with local, on-the-ground practitioners, can help further extend horticultural expertise to farmers nearby.”

Six of the newly awarded Trellis Fund projects are in Africa, specifically in Ghana, Uganda, and Kenya:

  • In Ghana, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s Crops Research Institute will lead a project that improves tomato production through good agronomic practices.
  • Also in Ghana, Methodist University College Ghana (MUCG) will lead a project on home-based processing and marketing of mango fruits.
  • The Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) is awarded a project focused on improving food production by adopting best pest management methods.
  • Also in Kenya, Growing Star Agri Ventures will lead a project that will extend potato production information via mobile technologies, trainings and demonstrations
  • In Uganda, the National Forestry Resources Research Institute (NaFORRI) will lead a project focused on information for fruit fly management and practice for mangoes.
  • Also in Uganda, Ndibwami Integrated Rescue Project (NIRP) will lead a project that enhances postharvest handling methods and creation of market linkages for small holder fruit and vegetable farmers.

Another three projects were selected with organizations in Cambodia and Nepal:

  • In Cambodia, the Green Shoots Foundation in partnership with Community-based Integrated Development Organization (CIDO) will lead a project that trains trainers for curriculum on water management, climate resiliency, and soil quality in school vegetable gardens.
  • In Nepal, Himalayan Pearl Enterprise (HPE) will lead a project focused on extending vegetable shelf-life and vegetable quality with a cost-effective storage unit, to improve marketing opportunities.
  • Also in Nepal, the Center for Agricultural Research and Development (CARD-Nepal) will lead a project focused on integrating plant nutrient and pest management practices for smallholder farmers.

Recruitment for graduate students from UC Davis, North Carolina State University, the University of Florida and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa is now open, with applications due Nov. 4.

The Horticulture Innovation Lab 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 global hunger and food security initiative called Feed the Future. The program builds international partnerships for fruit and vegetable research that improves livelihoods in developing countries.

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