Our Story

Established to serve global horticulture needs

Phase I (2009 2014)

In 2009, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) selected the University of California, Davis, to lead an international effort to help focus countries out of poverty through improved marketing and production of high-value horticultural crops. At the time, the new program was called the Horticulture Collaborative Research Support Program and was funded for a minimum of five years with $14.6 million.

Called "Hort CRSP" colloquially, the program supported projects to improve the livelihoods of the world's poor and built on needs highlighted in the Global Horticulture Assessment.

The program was originally founded with four partner institutions:

  • University of California, Davis
  • Cornell University
  • North Carolina State University
  • University of Hawai'i at Mānoa

At the time, the program joined nine other Collaborative Research Support Programs across the country, each funded by USAID and led by U.S. university researchers to advance food security, strengthen international agricultural research, and build capacity. The CRSPs were originally created in 1977 under Title XII of the International Development and Food Assistance Act of 1975.

Expanding research and technologies

Phase II (2014 2019)

In 2014, the program's name was changed to "Horticulture Innovation Lab," and USAID awarded an additional $18.75 million to UC Davis to continue leading the program for five more years. The second phase of the program was awarded to UC Davis with partner institutions:

In 2015 and 2016, the Horticulture Innovation Lab funded major research projects focused on nutrition, gender equity and postharvest losses, as well as the scaling of technologies and techniques found to be successful in the program's earlier work.

See more about the Horticulture Innovation Lab's projects throughout the world. To scale up research results and new horticultural technologies, the Horticulture Innovation Lab also funds Regional Centers to serve as hubs for horticultural knowledge, technologies, and training.

Inclusive development and empowering local leadership

Phase III (2021 2026)

In 2021, USAID awarded the Horticulture Innovation Lab a $15 million investment over the next five years, with up to $34.5 million total funding possible, to support the advances fruit and vegetable production, handling, and consumption. This third phase of the program includes UC Davis in collaboration with the following consortium institutions:

specialists from:

and scaling partners based at:

Furthermore, research projects guided by local priorities, are locally managed by four Regional Hubs based at the following partner organizations

Program milestone announcements

Additional history announcements, program news and annual reports.