Newsletter: New how-to videos, Innovation winners announced

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We launched the Horticulture Innovation Lab’s new website recently with a slew of new features, including up to 400 “information product” webpages so far, and growing. These webpages include presentations, reports, findings, manuals, posters, journal articles and other extensions materials generated by the program’s research network.

Our website team continues to add new information products from throughout our global research network — so if you haven’t had a chance to peruse the new website recently, take a look:

‘HOW TO’ MANUAL AND VIDEOS: CHIMNEY SOLAR DRYER One of the new information products on the website is a 16-page manual and series of short videos that show users how to build the chimney solar dryer, a low-cost design from UC Davis researchers that efficiently dries fruits and vegetables:

The Chimney Solar Dryer Manual includes an introduction to this solar dryer design, along with a detailed materials list, isometric illustrations, photos, directions for how to build, instructions for drying produce, troubleshooting tips and other user support.

As a complement to the manual, the Horticulture Innovation Lab team also created a series of three short videos on building the chimney solar dryer, using the dryer, and other tips.

So far, researchers with the Horticulture Innovation Lab have used chimney solar dryers with farmers in Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Tanzania, Bangladesh, Thailand, Guatemala, Honduras and the United States. The new manual and videos are intended to better help others build and use this low-cost solar dryer design. For more information, visit


*** IN THE NEWS ***
RWANDA POSTHARVEST INNOVATION WINNERS ANNOUNCED A conference, multiple trainings and an innovation competition were all part of the first-ever Rwanda Postharvest Week, hosted by the Horticulture Innovation Lab project focused on reducing postharvest losses. Read about the activities and 13 innovation winners:

PENN STATE ON FARMER FIELD SCHOOL GRADUATION IN HONDURAS Success from a recent farmer field school that integrated gender issues, as part of a Horticulture Innovation Lab project, is the focus of a news story from Penn State with quotes from researcher Paige Castellanos:

#ENDHUNGER FEATURES OUR GLOBAL COLLABORATORS During Feed the Future week in September, Horticulture Innovation Lab researchers and partners shared photos about how their research helps to #EndHunger in Bangladesh, Guatemala, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Honduras, Guinea, Cambodia and more. Check out the photos in this Twitter moment: Or Facebook photo album:

DRYCARD TEAM HONORED AS UC DAVIS INNOVATORS OF THE YEAR The 2018 Chancellor’s Innovation Award was presented to members of the Horticulture Innovation Lab management team involved in creating and scaling this low-cost dryness indicator. Story with video:


POSTHARVEST LOSS ASSESSMENTS: FOUR VALUE CHAIN REPORTS New reports from the Horticulture Innovation Lab team in Rwanda analyze postharvest losses for tomatoes, orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, green chili peppers and green bananas. Find these resources on their project webpage:

FAO REPORT: FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION IN THE WORLD  An annual report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization finds that the number of hungry people in the world is growing, a reversal of recent progress:

HORTICULTURE PROJECT VIDEOS FROM ANNUAL MEETING Horticulture Innovation Lab teams shared 18 short videos with research updates from Central America, Asia and Africa:


EVENT ONLINE: FOOD LOSS AND FOOD WASTE On Oct. 3, Horticulture Innovation Lab director Elizabeth Mitcham of UC Davis and research partner Jane Ambuko of the University of Nairobi will speak on the topic of on-farm food losses for the FoodTank Summit in New York and streamed online:

STUDENT BLOG CONTEST: WRITE ABOUT RESEARCH FOR AGRILINKS Oct. 10 is the deadline for enrolled college students to submit a short blog post about their work with food security or agricultural research:

EVENT ONLINE: NUTRITION AND PRIVATE SECTOR ENGAGEMENT Oct. 16 will be the next meeting of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD), streamed online:

EVENT: ‘POWER OF PRODUCE’ AT WORLD FOOD PRIZE On Oct. 17, the Horticulture Innovation Lab, World Vegetable Center and Catholic Relief Services will host an event focused on fruits and vegetables for participants at the Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium:

FUNDING AVAILABLE: DEVELOPMENT INNOVATION VENTURES USAID has announced funding is available for scaling creative solutions through its DIV program, with applications reviewed on a rolling basis:

AWARD NOMINATIONS: SOIL ‘GROUNDBREAKER’ PRIZE FoodShot Global is seeking nominations for its $500,000 “Groundbreaker Prize” honoring research, social enterprise or advocacy in relation to its Soil 3.0 campaign:


*** THANK YOU FOR READING! Stay tuned for useful updates from our global network in the next edition. Until then, you can find new resources on our website:  connect with us on Twitter @HortInnovLab or email us directly at

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