Newsletter: New report from Guinea, opportunities, updates

Below is a copy of our email newsletter, with news items and other updates from the Horticulture Innovation Lab. If you are a regular reader of our blog, some of these may not be new to you, but you may be interested in subscribing to receive our next newsletter or browsing our past newsletters. Thanks for reading!

We are wrapping up 2015 with some updates, opportunities, and a new report about horticulture in West Africa. Thank you for partnering with the Horticulture Innovation Lab this year and for reading our newsletter. As usual, please share this email with your colleagues.

NEW REPORT ON HORTICULTURE IN GUINEA, AFTER EBOLA The Horticulture Innovation Lab recently evaluated fruit and vegetable production in Guinea, as part of USAID’s ongoing food security response in the wake of the West African outbreak of Ebola.

The report, “Rapid Assessment of the Horticulture Sector in Guinea” is now available online. It identifies constraints to improving horticultural production at household and commercial levels in Guinea, along with specific recommendations for improvements. It is intended to provide guidance to USAID for Feed the Future investments in Guinea’s agriculture.

“We provided a list that is doable, makes sense in the context of Guinea specifically, and identifies where to start for greater impact,” said Amanda Crump, associate director of the Horticulture Innovation Lab and one of the authors.

Guinean farmers consistently identified eggplant and chili pepper as important horticultural crops, while the report also focuses on okra, tomato, mango and citrus, with specific recommendations for each crop. Recommendations in the report are separated into categories based on farmers in different wealth quartiles, women farmers, farmers in specific geographic zones, specific crops, and links in the horticultural value chain.

“The next step for the Horticulture Innovation Lab is that we would like to explore potential partners who can work with us in Guinea, for future research opportunities,” Crump said.

Read the rest of the article for highlights of Guinean horticulture: or go to the report and its recommendations:


CALL FOR TRELLIS FUND GRANT PROPOSALS Small grants (up to $2,000 each) are available for organizations in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Rwanda, Senegal, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda, or Zambia. To apply, organizations need to submit a project proposal that addresses a horticultural problem facing local farmers by Jan. 18, 2016. Directions:

Q&A WITH NEW INTERNATIONAL POSTHARVEST SPECIALIST In 2015, Angelos Deltsidis joined the Horticulture Innovation Lab team at UC Davis as its new international postharvest specialist. Dr. Deltsidis shares his background, work so far, and plans for the future:

*** IN THE NEWS ***

PARTNER AT UH MANOA HELPED UNLOCK PINEAPPLE GENOMERobert Paull, member of our International Advisory Board, was part of an international team that sequenced the pineapple genome. Read the details:

NEW POSTHARVEST JOURNAL ARTICLE ON AMARANTH PACKAGINGFrom their work on a Horticulture Innovation Lab project, Lizanne Wheeler, Lisa Kitinoja and Diane Barrett have published an article in the open-access journal Agriculture, focused on crate coverings and three different types of packaging for Amaranth greens:

LOOKING BACK AT UC DAVIS CENTER OPENING The local newspaper in Davis, Calif., covered the opening event for the Horticulture Innovation Lab’s new demonstration center on the UC Davis campus, to celebrate World Food Day:


MOVING FORWARD FROM POSTHARVEST CONGRESS IN ROMEDirector Beth Mitcham was a speaker, moderator, and planner for the first-ever International Congress on Postharvest Loss Prevention. See who else attended, catch up with videos, and next steps:

A VISIT TO KASETSART UNIVERSITY IN THAILAND On a multi-leg trip in Asia, Director Beth Mitcham stopped at Kasetsart University to visit faculty members and students, tour the Horticulture Innovation Lab Regional Center at Kasetsart University, and explore the AVRDC demonstration garden:


NEW DIRECTOR GENERAL AT WORLD VEGETABLE CENTER Marco Wopereis, currently of AfricaRice, has been selected to succeed Dyno Keatinge as the director general of AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center beginning in April 2016:

NEW USAID ADMINISTRATOR CONFIRMED Gayle Smith has been sworn into office as the new USAID administrator, after being confirmed by the U.S. Senate:


PHD SCHOLARSHIP: SUPPORT FOR GUATEMALAN ATTENDING NORTH CAROLINA A&T Jan. 30 is the deadline for Guatemalans to apply for a doctoral fellowship at North Carolina A&T State University, associated with an upcoming Horticulture Innovation Lab project:

PROPOSALS: GOOD PRACTICE NOTES ON NUTRITION, GENDER The Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS) seeks proposals to develop “good practice notes” for agricultural extension on gender and nutrition, by Dec. 31:

APPLY: POSTHARVEST E-LEARNING PROGRAM The Postharvest Education Foundation is now accepting applications to participate in its 2016 E-Learning program, due by Dec. 31:

VOLUNTEER: BUSINESS, ENGINEERING WITH START-UP IN UGANDAAgriworks Uganda, an agricultural technology start-up, is seeking a business consultant and engineering fellow for unpaid positions. See these and other opportunities within the International Development Innovation Network:

POST-DOC FELLOWSHIP: METHODS, METRICS FOR AGRICULTURE AND NUTRITION Feb. 1 is the deadline to apply for a 12-month postdoctoral fellowship on Innovative Methods and Metrics for Agriculture and Nutrition Actions (IMMANA) at Tufts University for emerging leaders in agriculture, nutrition and health research:

*** SEE YOU IN 2016! We hope you enjoyed this newsletter, and that the new year finds you well. Please let us know if you have any related news or horticultural information that we should consider for an upcoming newsletter. You can find us on Twitter @HortInnovLab, by email at or on our blog:

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