Horticulture Innovation Lab in Africa

Africa map with Horticulture Innovation Lab project highlights - Advancing the science of postharvest loss reduction, Innovating with farmers to improve irrigation in Uganda, Scaling up nets for pest-exclusion in Kenya, Training new postharvest experts in Tanzania, Improving nutrition with African vegetables, Identifying horticultural opportunities in Guinea
Select Horticulture Innovation Lab projects in Africa, from a poster displayed at a conference focused on United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) held at UC Davis in 2017.

The Horticulture Innovation Lab has research teams working in several African countries to advance horticultural science in relation to nutritious vegetables, reducing postharvest losses, improving fruit and vegetable production, helping smallholder farmers access appropriate irrigation solutions and other research topics related to fruit and vegetable production.

More information about the Horticulture Innovation Lab's projects are available in fact sheets focused on the program's activities and research investments in three African regions:

One of the program's major projects is focused on improving nutrition with African indigenous vegetables in Kenya and Zambia. This five-year project incorporates team members and lessons learned from previous projects in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia that focused on various aspects of the value chain for African indigenous vegetables.

Another major project is focused on reducing postharvest losses in Rwanda, which takes a systematic approach to the complex challenges and business opportunities inherent in postharvest stages of horticultural crops. The research project includes evaluations of postharvest losses across four different value chains, establishing postharvest training and service centers (PTSCs) in three locations, and building entrepreneurial capacity for stakeholders to capture value while reducing losses.

In 2015 during the wake of the Ebola outbreak, the Horticulture Innovation Lab was contracted to conduct a "Rapid Assessment of the Horticulture Sector in Guinea," as part of USAID's long-term response to the region. After the report, the program also began work in Guinea to establish a youth-led Horticulture Training and Service Center to share horticultural innovations with the region while engaging local youth in profitable endeavors. 


Duarte Mansoa

Duarte Mansoa is a technical agent specialized in community engagement and gender and has taken on the coordination of projects at local level. He has a degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Pinar del Río, having spent most of his academic career in Cuba. He also attended international training courses specialized in Entrepreneurship and International Trade.

Augusto João Bock

Augusto João Bock (PhD), of Guinean nationality, is an Agricultural Engineer in Food Security and Nutrition, who specializes in community development in environmental terms and quality of life for populations. He is a professor and senior researcher for the Department of Medical Science (Higher Nursing) at Amílcar Cabra University (UAC)l and Lusófona University of Guinea (ULG) in Guinea-Bissau, leading Center for Environmental Studies and Applied Technologies (CEATA) programs at the Institute National Institute of Studies and Research (INEP), with special focus on the issues of climate change, food security and nutrition, ensuring the quality of life of populations.

Stengthening the horticulture sector in Guinea Bissau

Led by Dr. Naalamle Amissah ,
The horticulture sector in Guinea Bissau offers significant promise that remains untapped. This project will strengthen input supply, production strategies, and build institutional capacity in higher education, national research, and within farmer groups, primarily groups led by women.

Kwadwo Danso-Mensah

Kwadwo Danso-Mensah is a Development Economist and a Monitory, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) expert providing research and MEL services to local organizations, international development institutions and global charities. He is currently the Director of Research at the International Center for Evaluation (ICED). He is also a research associate at the African Centre of Excellence for Inequalities Research (ACEIR) at the Institute of Social, Statistical and Economic Research (ISSER), University of Ghana.