Photojournalist Martin do Nascimento recently traveled to Guatemala’s Western Highlands to explore the Horticulture Innovation Lab’s new project helping farmers use climate-smart agricultural practices for growing vegetables.
The Horticulture Innovation Lab’s newest annual report is fresh off the presses, documenting the program’s accomplishments from October 2015 – October 2016 (FY 2016) as part of the U.S. government’s Feed the Future initiative.
Together with our research partners at universities, government agencies and NGOs, we took important steps this year in improving livelihoods of farmers and their communities through horticulture.
It’s Feed the Future week, a time to focus on the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative.
Our program is one of 24 Feed the Future Innovation Labs led by university researchers around the United States, and this week our leaders are converging on Washington, D.C., for several different events.
If you can’t make it to the events in Washington, D.C., you can check out some of the activity online with the hashtag #endhunger.
Here at the Horticulture Innovation Lab, we focus our work on how agricultural science can improve food security, improve nutrition, and reduce poverty. Sometimes it’s easy for us to zoom in on the specifics — how to scale up irrigation, how to cool vegetables without electricity, how to grow a disease-resistant tomato plant — and forget about the big picture. So here’s a look at some of the ways we believe the Horticulture Innovation Lab network is helping #endhunger…
Expanding irrigation and climate-smart farming to Guatemala
An international team led by UC Davis is working to connect 9,000 rural households in Guatemala with improved water management and climate-smart agriculture strategies, to increase food security and reduce poverty.
Called MásRiego (“more irrigation”), the project aims to increase farmers’ incomes and their use of climate-smart strategies, including drip irrigation, rainwater harvesting, reduced tillage, mulch use and diverse crop rotation. To enable farmers to adopt these new practices, the team will not only provide trainings but also build partnerships to increase farmers’ access to needed microcredit financing and irrigation equipment.
“The opportunity to impact so many farmers’ lives on this scale is exciting,” said Beth Mitcham, director of the Horticulture Innovation Lab. “We’re taking lessons learned from our previous research — in Guatemala, Honduras and Cambodia — and building a team to help more small-scale farmers apply our findings and successfully use these innovative practices.”
Partnering with UC Davis is an international team with representatives from Centro de Paz Bárbara Ford in Guatemala; Universidad Rafael Landívar in Guatemala; the Panamerican Agricultural School, Zamorano, in Honduras; Kansas State University; and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Continue reading MásRiego project starts in Guatemala
How to improve market opportunities for farmers growing tomatoes in West Africa and apricots in Central Asia are the main objectives of two new research grant opportunities from the Horticulture Innovation Lab.
September 12 is the deadline for research proposals for these two projects, each with funding up to $300,000 over two years. U.S.-based researchers are invited to apply in partnership with international scientists and organizations.
The research will provide evidence-based analysis to help smallholder farmers better connect with agricultural markets, through practices that address fruit quality, food safety, packaging, handling, processing, transportation, market analysis and other postharvest issues. The Horticulture Innovation Lab conducts collaborative research with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development, as part of Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative.