Newsletter: Projects awarded, email newsletter restarts

We restarted our email newsletter this week. If you’re not a subscriber yet, you’re in luck! Below is a copy of the newsletter, and you can also sign up to subscribe for next time.

Welcome to the new format of our email newsletter! You may remember us as “Hort CRSP,” but we are kicking off our second five-year phase with a new program name, new newsletter and – most importantly – some new projects. As a subscriber, you can expect to get about one email newsletter per month from us, with program updates, horticultural information, and other international development news.

FIVE NEW PROJECTS AWARDED We recently awarded agricultural scientists from five land-grant universities with $4.2 million for research to improve livelihoods for smallholder fruit and vegetable farmers in developing countries. See highlights below or read the whole article: http://bit.ly/17PX3K0

Three of the new projects are “spin-offs” that take familiar projects in new directions, for $300,000 over two years. One such project is led by Kate Scow of UC Davis, focused on a co-innovation process for small-scale irrigation and dry-season vegetables in Uganda. James Nienhuis of the University of Wisconsin-Madison will lead a team working again with women farmers in Honduras and Guatemala, but this time on grafting for small nursery businesses. Manuel Reyes of North Carolina A&T State University and his team will work with farmers in Cambodia and Nepal on marketing vegetables grown with labor-saving, conservation agriculture practices.

Two larger, five-year projects will each focus on how growing fruits and vegetables can improves the lives of farmers and their communities – by improving aspects of nutrition and gender equity.

James Simon of Rutgers University will lead a $2 million project focused on improving dietary diversity through enhanced access to African indigenous vegetables in Kenya and Zambia.

Janelle Larson of Penn State will lead a $1.3 million project that will analyze how participating in the horticultural value chain can empower women and support gender equity in Honduras.

“We hope the results from our gender and nutrition projects will inform policymakers and donors about the benefits of supporting horticulture for development,” said Elizabeth Mitcham, Horticulture Innovation Lab director.

These five new projects were awarded after a competitive grant process that began in August 2014. One call for proposals focused on postharvest practices was not funded, though the topic remains a priority for the program. Additional grant awards are being finalized that will scale up use of proven horticultural technologies.

Read the whole article: http://bit.ly/1FRb215 Or explore our projects: http://bit.ly/1BJN1Yn

— OTHER PROGRAM NEWS —

NEW TRELLIS PROJECTS AWARDED AND MATCHED TO GRAD STUDENTS In January, we awarded 14 new Trellis Fund projects, providing $2,000 each to organizations in Zambia, Malawi, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Nepal, Bangladesh and Guatemala. Each project is matched to a knowledgeable grad student from the University of Florida, North Carolina State University or UC Davis, who serve as consultants. More information: http://bit.ly/1DPinf9

— OPPORTUNITIES —

> Seeking a new director general: AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center has announced it is beginning the search process for a new director general. Dyno Keatinge, current director and a member of our International Advisory Board, will retire in 2016. More: http://bit.ly/1a8Cp9V

— NAMES IN THE NEWS —

> The Feed the Future newsletter highlighted our D-Lab partnership between the Panamerican Agricultural School, Zamorano, and UC Davis that empowers students to solve real-world agricultural problems while learning how to innovate: http://1.usa.gov/1F7EcWX

> Jane Ambuko of the University of Nairobi spoke at TEDx Nairobi about how she came to be an agricultural scientist and why cooling is critical for postharvest: http://bit.ly/1KJq1dp

> Our partnership with Rhino Research that led to the “dry chain” concept for drying seeds and keeping them dry was highlighted in the Feed the Future newsletter: http://1.usa.gov/1KN63MZ

> VIDEO: How can savings groups help vegetable farmers in Cambodia? Watch the “Power of Savings,” from partners at UC Davis and the Royal University of Agriculture in Cambodia: http://bit.ly/1DPanL6

THAT’S IT? Thanks for reading! It was nice to reconnect with you. There will be more information next time. If you have tips for news items that you think belong in this newsletter, let us know. If you’d like to connect with us in between newsletters, find us @HortInnovLab on Twitter, email us at horticulture@ucdavis.edu or explore our new blog: http://blog.horticulture.ucdavis.edu/