photo: American student carries bag in field with Kenyan man

New Trellis Fund projects matched to students

The Horticulture Innovation Lab has awarded 14 new Trellis Fund projects, led by organizations in nine countries with technical support provided by grad students from three U.S. universities — including the University of Florida, North Carolina State University, and the University of California, Davis.

Nine graduate students from UC Davis have been selected to provide support to new Trellis Fund projects, including:

  • Miguel Macias González (Horticulture and Agronomy), who will travel to Zambia to work with the Tikondane Community Centre on seed storage and drying produce.
  • Belinda Richardson (International Agricultural Development), who will work with the Development in Gardening organization and with farmers in Kenya on better accessing markets.
  • Emily Gousen (IAD), who will travel to Ethiopia to develop a project with the local Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management organization on reducing postharvest losses in fruits and vegetables.
  • Gabe LaHue (IAD), who will travel to Ghana to develop a project with Tip Top Foods, Ltd., on sweet potato cultivation.
  • Jason Tsichlis (IAD), who will travel to Ghana to work with the Kumasi Institute of Tropical Agriculture on a moringa tree project.
  • Macarena Farcuh (Plant Sciences), who will work with the Horticulture Innovation Lab’s Regional Center at Kasetsart University to train farmers in Bangladesh in appropriate postharvest practices.
  • Brittany Pierce (Plant Pathology), who will travel to Bangladesh to develop a project with the PRIDE organization on integrated pest management for vegetable farmers.
  • Deirdre Griffin (Soils and Biogeochemistry), who will travel to Malawi to work with the Kusamala Institute of Agriculture and Ecology on soil science education.
  • Brandon Louie (Community Development), who will travel to Guatemala with the Iglesia Luterano Augustina to work with a remote village of refugees on vegetable gardening skills.

From the University of Florida: Two graduate students will support Trellis Fund projects in Ghana. Libby Rens, a Ph.D. student in the Horticultural Sciences Department, will work on smallholder pepper and okra production with Samsford Enterprises. Dev Paudel, a Ph.D. student in the Agronomy Department, will work with the Kayaba Management Foundation to develop a project that builds capacity for postharvest-related research.

From North Carolina State University: Samuel McGowen, of the Horticulture Department, will travel to Nepal to support a pesticide safety project with vegetable farmers.

Two additional Trellis projects have been selected for funding, but are awaiting final student matches. One of these projects is in Mali with the Rural Polytechnic Institute of Training and Applied Research and the other is in Kenya with the African Pride Centre.

About the Trellis Fund

The Trellis Fund pairs U.S. graduate students with organizations in developing countries for small horticultural projects. Students will travel to act as project consultants for their partner organization and will provide additional support by email. Organizations are provided $2,000 in funding to support their projects with smallholder fruit and vegetable farmers.

The Trellis Fund is managed by the Horticulture Innovation Lab at UC Davis, in partnership with North Carolina State University, the University of Florida and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. The program is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, as part of Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative.

This announcement originally appeared on the Horticulture Innovation Lab website.

About the photo: Bob Johnson, a UC Davis graduate student, worked with farmers in Kenya on potato production, for a previous Trellis Fund project. Additional photos of previous Trellis Fund projects available from an album on Flickr.