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We are proud to share with you our latest annual report, with contributions from throughout our global network in 2017: http://bit.ly/2EJJMnS
A new annual report is now available from the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Horticulture, with contributions from all of the global network’s research teams. The report highlights accomplishments from October 2016 – October 2017.
While previous annual reports from the Horticulture Innovation Lab have sometimes exceeded 150 pages, we are sharing this year’s report in a condensed format for easier skimming. That said, the new “Annual Report Highlights” still includes one-page of updates from every one of the Horticulture Innovation Lab’s ongoing research projects.
As of the end of the fiscal year in 2017, the Horticulture Innovation Lab has granted all funds for the program’s second phase to develop knowledge on key information gaps across the horticulture value chain. During the past year, promising results have emerged from these research projects. Project teams actively engaged with more than 6,000 farmers, development practitioners, and others who benefited directly from U.S. government assistance. Continue reading Accomplishments from our global network in 2017
The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Horticulture has awarded 15 new Trellis Fund grants to organizations in Africa and Asia, matching these new projects to 16 graduate students who will provide agriculture expertise requested by the organizations.
The Trellis Fund is a model started by the Horticulture Innovation Lab in 2011 as a way to connect organizations that are well-rooted in their local communities in developing countries with budding agricultural scientists. In addition to helping local farmers, the projects also build the institutional capacity of the organizations and expose graduate students to critical agricultural needs in transitional economies.
Selected organizations each receive $4,000 grants for a wide variety of projects that will help smallholder farmers improve how they grow or sell fruit and vegetable crops.
Sometimes it helps to pause and reconnect with what motivates your work.
For Karin Albornoz — a Ph.D. student studying Horticulture and Agronomy who works in a UC Davis lab on molecular biology of tomato postharvest chilling injury — that means getting out into the world to work directly with small-scale farmers.
“I spend so much time in the lab,” she said. “Sometimes I spend a whole day in the lab extracting RNA or writing a paper. This reminds me why I am doing this work: to make a real-world impact.”
In December, she returned from a trip to Uganda where she did exactly that. In partnership with a local organization called Ndibwami Integrated Rescue Project (NIRP), Albornoz shared her expertise with farmers through several hands-on workshops about improving harvest practices and postharvest handling of pineapple, passion fruit and tomatoes. The project she worked on was supported by the Horticulture Innovation Lab, a global research network led by UC Davis with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development, as part of he U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative called Feed the Future.
Though Albornoz has worked with rural farmers before, this was her first time working in Africa.
“Everywhere I looked, things were growing. There were people working in the field, women cooking, and everyone was working with food,” she said. “I know there’s a lot of stigma – when you talk about Africa, you see people’s faces change and they’re thinking about things like drought and famine and starving children. But what I saw doesn’t fit that stereotype. The challenges they are facing seem to be about not having access to opportunities.”
The workshops she led are part of the NIRP organization’s efforts to connect farmers with more lucrative markets that pay higher prices for quality produce, through a Trellis Fund project.
This is an archive copy of our email newsletter. We invite you to subscribe to receive future editions, or browse our newsletter archives for past editions. Thank you for reading!
As we wrap up this productive calendar year, we bring you updates about the dry chain, irrigation in Uganda, horticulture in Guinea, student advancement, gender discussions and new journal articles. We hope you too are harvesting the fruits of a productive year! Remember to let us know of any horticulture-related opportunities that we could share in our next newsletter. Continue reading Newsletter: Dry chain news, updates from our network