Undernutrition, particularly during the 1,000 days from pregnancy to a child’s second birthday, leads to lower levels of educational attainment, productivity, lifetime earnings, and economic growth rates. Horticulture plays a unique role in ensuring access to and availability of diverse, nutritious food. Increased dietary diversity is highly correlated with better health, and thus reduction of malnutrition and stunting. Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption is one of the few dietary strategies that can help improve both undernutrition and overnutrition, which can co-exist even in the same household (the so-called "double burden of malnutrition" in transitioning economies).

Enhancing the production and consumption of AIVs to improve diets in Ghana and Mali

This project aims to improve nutrition in Ghanaians and Malians through diet diversification by valorizing indigenous fruits and vegetables and promoting their consumption. This will be achieved through an assessment of value chain to profile and identify cultural properties of indigenous fruits and vegetables to understand regional demand and supply, characterize them in terms of agronomic practices, nutritional composition, postharvest practices and value addition potential.
Ghana, Mali

Developing innovative horticulture technologies for small-scale women farmers in Uganda

The theory of change in this project identified the problem of losses in horticultural crops during the pre-harvest, post-harvest and marketing stages in Uganda. The overall goal of this project is to increase financial independence and improve the livelihoods of small-scale women vegetable farmers. To achieve this goal, we will evaluate different agronomic practices for reduced loss; evaluate different postharvest practices for reduced loss in vegetables; and evaluate different marketing and market access strategies for vegetables by women farmers. This is expected to lead to improved household nutrition status; increased sales of vegetables; and increased household income status of small-scale women farmers.

Determining the trade-offs between short and long horticulture value chains in Kenya

By increasing understandings of the trade-offs of short horticulture value chains versus long horticulture value chains, and the impact of ICT on those value chains, researchers will have critical information to guide where future interventions and innovations should be focused to achieve specific types of outcomes and avoid unintended harmful impacts from scaling/interventions. Furthermore, by collecting this data, researchers outside of Kenya can use the findings and approach as a framework for replication

Advancing Technology based on Urban and Peri-urban Horticulture Needs in Bangladesh and Nepal

The rapid urbanization in Bangladesh and Nepal is making the city dwellers vulnerable for their food and nutrition and primarily dependent on the supply chain from the rural areas. Also, it has been a challenge to enhance the production of fruits and vegetables in urban and peri-urban areas due to the limited supply of quality planting materials. By addressing these issues can contribute to increasing urban communities’ access to demand-based nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, which can contribute to achieving food and nutritional security.
Nepal, Bangladesh

Investigating integrated vegetable-livestock systems in Cambodia

Led by Jessie Vipham,
The goal of this project is to understand how integrated animal-horticulture systems are most feasible for smallholders by rigorously addressing — through interdisciplinary research — the potential of these systems with regard to sustainable production capacity, income generation, and gender dimensions.