Newsletter: Changes, Cambodia highlights, and more news

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In this newsletter, we are reporting back to you after a successful annual meeting with an array of articles and perspectives about these events. If you weren’t able to join us, we hope these highlights pique your interest. If you participated in these events, please add your comments or share with colleagues. We also have an important staffing change to tell you about, in addition to many horticultural news items and opportunities.

LOOKING BACK AT THE ANNUAL MEETING Horticulture Innovation Lab partners gathered in Cambodia to share achievements, exchange ideas, and scheme about their next steps in advancing horticultural science and helping smallholder farmers in developing countries. Read the whole article here:

Nearly 100 scientists, development practitioners, and other horticultural partners gathered for the first day of the annual meeting in Siem Reap. Much of the day was split into 5-minute lightning talks, with a total of 15 speakers sharing just the most exciting highlights of their horticultural work — followed by small group discussions sparked by these ideas.

The day ended with the Horticulture Expo, with hands-on demonstrations of technologies from iDE Cambodia, the World Vegetable Center (AVRDC), Kasetsart University, the USAID-funded Cambodia HARVEST project, and the ECHO Asia Impact Center.

On the second day, participants visited three field sites to explore horticulture development projects. One site for the USAID-funded Cambodia HARVEST project featured drip irrigation, plastic row covers and trellises for commercial vegetable production. Participants also toured sites related to the Horticulture Innovation Lab’s project focused on marketing vegetables grown with conservation agriculture practices, with leadership from Manny Reyes of North Carolina A&T State University. Members of the farmer cooperative showed participants their improved agricultural practices, demonstrated new produce handling tools at the group’s packing shed, and sat down for a discussion of their community dynamics.

After the conference, farm tours, and two more days of meetings, the Horticulture Innovation Lab also partnered with the Royal University of Agriculture to present a day-long Symposium on Horticultural Science to university students, recent alumni, faculty and staff. The university rector provided a welcome address, followed by technical speakers from Cambodia and the United States, and a participant poster session.

Read the whole article about the annual meeting:
And the whole article about the Symposium on Horticultural Science:


SEEKING A NEW ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR Amanda Crump, who has worked for the Horticulture Innovation Lab since 2009, has announced she will be taking a new job as director of the Western Integrated Pest Management Center. Her last day working for the Horticulture Innovation Lab will be April 29.

In the wake of this transition, we are seeking a new associate director. The position is a critical leadership role, overseeing the Horticulture Innovation Lab’s $3 million annual portfolio of research projects in developing countries with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

May 9 is the final day for candidates to apply for this position. Details about Amanda’s transition can be found here: 
Please share this job opportunity widely:


IN MEMORIAM: NORM LOONEY A tireless advocate for horticulture in developing countries and one of the founding members of the Horticulture Innovation Lab’s International Advisory Board, Norm Looney died March 26 in Vancouver, British Columbia. He was 77. A tribute to his horticultural legacy:

NIENHUIS HONORED IN COSTA RICA Our partner Jim Nienhuis, professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was presented an award from the rector of the Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica, in recognition of his long-term academic partnership:


CHICAGO COUNCIL HIGHLIGHTS OUR MARKET-DRIVEN ZAMBIA PROJECT Successfully connecting rural farmers with urban markets was the focus of a recent blog post on the Chicago Council of Global Affairs’ website about a Horticulture Innovation Lab project led by James Simon of Rutgers University. The article was offered as guest commentary by Global Harvest Initiative writers:

CAMBODIA NEWSPAPER ASKS MITCHAM ABOUT COOLBOTS A newspaper article in the Khmer Times featured the Horticulture Innovation Lab’s use of the CoolBot with farmers and scientists, with quotes from Director Elizabeth Mitcham about the importance of cooling fresh produce:

HUFFINGTON POST ON NUTRITION AND CAMBODIA FARMERS Amy Beaudreault of the UC Davis World Food Center attended the Horticulture Innovation Lab annual meeting and shared her perspectives on nutrition-sensitive agriculture and farmers in Cambodia on the Huffington Post:

PARTNER ON NAIROBI TV FOR COOLBOT WITH MANGOS Jane Ambuko of the University of Nairobi was featured in a Food Friday segment on NTV recently, about the CoolBot and how cooling reduces postharvest losses. Watch:

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA STUDENT IN NEWS FOR TRELLIS PROJECTGraduate student Dev Paudel of the University of Florida worked with Kayaba Management Foundation in Ghana on a Trellis Fund project focused on building statistical analysis skills, which was featured in the Feed the Future newsletter:


FOLLOWING VEGETABLES FROM FIELD TO MARKET IN CAMBODIAAngelos Deltsidis, UC Davis international postharvest specialist, visited with Horticulture Innovation Lab project farmers near Siem Reap to offer recommendations for improved harvesting, packing and storing practices. His insights:

MEETING WITH REGIONAL CENTERS’ DIRECTORS IN THAILANDBritta Hansen of UC Davis met with Poon Kasemsap of Kasetsart University, Julio Lopez of Zamorano and Emil VanWyk of AgriSmart to discuss new plans for the Horticulture Innovation Lab Regional Centers. Behind the scenes:

MOVING BEYOND THE COMPUTER SCREEN AT OUR ANNUAL MEETING UC Davis grad student Elyssa Lewis spoke at the annual meeting and shares her insights as one of the event’s youngest participants:


GLOBAL FOOD SECURITY ACT OF 2016 PASSED SENATE Bills which seek to codify the Feed the Future initiative as an ongoing government strategy have passed both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate:


JOB: ASSOC DIRECTOR OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH PROGRAMMay 9 is the deadline for applications to UC Davis for the position of Associate Director of the Horticulture Innovation Lab:

VOLUNTEER: SEEKING EXTERNAL REVIEWERS The Horticulture Innovation Lab is seeking additional reviewers who can evaluate project proposals in upcoming months. We particularly need reviewers with expertise in postharvest, small-scale processing, marketing, and nematology. We appreciate your help as we select the best research projects to benefit smallholder farmers. Become a reviewer:

EVENT: GLOBAL FOOD SECURITY SYMPOSIUM April 26 is the Chicago Council on Global Affairs annual event, this year focused on “Growing Food for Growing Cities.” In Washington, D.C. and streaming online:

CONTEST: AGRICULTURAL INNOVATION May 3 is the deadline to submit an idea to IDEO’s Agricultural Innovation Challenge, to reduce food waste and postharvest losses to improve the livelihoods of small-scale farmers:

EVENT: ALL AFFRICA HORTICULTURAL CONGRESS May 15 is the deadline submit abstracts for the ISHS 3rd All Africa Horticultural Congress, which will be held Aug. 7-12 in Nigeria:

JOB: SEEDS PROFESSOR May 30 is the deadline for applications to Michigan State University for Assistant Professor in Seed Systems for International Programs. Find posting #3079 at

TRAINING: POSTHARVEST SHORT COURSE Registration is open for the UC Davis Postharvest Technology of Horticultural Crops Short Course, which is held June 13–17:

EVENT: FOOD TANK COMES TO SACRAMENTO Sept. 22 is the first Farm Tank Summit in Sacramento, led by partners Food Tank, UC Davis and others:


*** SEE YOU NEXT TIME! Thanks for reading. We hope you share this newsletter with others who might be interested too. Until our next newsletter, you can connect with us on Twitter @HortInnovLab, by email at or on our blog at


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