Grafting team gathers for Wisconsin workshop

The Horticulture Innovation Lab’s “Plántulas de Esperanza” project team gathered in Wisconsin this month for a 9-day workshop focused on vegetable grafting under the leadership of Jim Nienhuis, horticulture professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Among the 28 Spanish-speaking attendees of the workshop were leaders from the women’s farming groups who are participating in the project from Honduras and Guatemala. Also participating were students and professors from the Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica. Continue reading Grafting team gathers for Wisconsin workshop

Newsletter: Meeting wrap-up, gender tips, opportunities

Below is our email newsletter, with highlights from our recent blog posts and links to other news and opportunities. You can see our newsletters here, or subscribe to get your own copy next time.

Leaders from each of our projects gathered in Zambia last month for an annual meeting, joined by local partners, entrepreneurs, and others interested in horticulture for development. Highlights from this meeting are below, along with some additional program news and opportunities in the world.

WHAT WE LEARNED AT THE ANNUAL MEETING The first day of the three-day meeting was focused on learning about the program’s new portfolio of projects and finding possible synergies between them. Continue reading Newsletter: Meeting wrap-up, gender tips, opportunities

9 tips for incorporating gender into a research project

From the leaders of our new gender-focused project, of Penn State and Zamorano universities, here are some tips to get you thinking about gender-responsive projects:

group photo: Arie, Janelle and Leif
From left, Arie Sanders of Zamorano, Janelle Larson and Leif Jensen (both of Penn State) kicked off a Horticulture Innovation Lab project focused on gender equity and the horticultural value chain in Honduras.
  1. Incorporate and mainstream gender considerations from the inception of the project. Avoid “add and stir” approaches to gender, that is, simply adding gender as a factor without thinking through the range of ways it might infuse your work. A full incorporation might have impacts on decisions about staffing, scheduling time “in the field,” timing of outreach efforts, connecting with “gatekeepers,” and designing gender-specific activities.
  2. Be aware of the cultural context. Constraints that women (and others) face vary between and within societies, regions, localities and households.
  3. Be attentive to interactions between gender and other categories such as race and ethnicity, social class, and life-stage.
  4. When evaluating a specific intervention or issue, give careful thought to sampling design to ensure meaningful participation of women. Continue reading 9 tips for incorporating gender into a research project

Newsletter: Upcoming postharvest event, opportunities

Here is a copy of the email newsletter we sent out to our subscribers this week. We post our newsletters here, but you can always subscribe for next time. Enjoy!

We’re excited to see more interest in improving postharvest practices as a way to increase income and reduce food loss. In a few months, the Horticulture Innovation Lab will be sponsoring an ISHS symposium in Cambodia focused on postharvest issues. Now is the time to submit an abstract, if you’d like to share your research results or expertise at this event. Please enjoy the highlights and other updates below, or Continue reading Newsletter: Upcoming postharvest event, opportunities

Nepal: When greenhouses become tents

Our thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones and homes in Nepal.

With partners in dozens of countries, our management team at UC Davis often filters global news based on who we know and where we’ve been. In January, our office sent Beth Mitcham to visit farmers in Nepal for the launch of a research project, with partners Manny Reyes and International Development Enterprises (iDE). At the same time, Britta Hansen from UC Davis worked in Nepal with faculty from Kasetsart University to provide a training on improving postharvest practices.

With Saturday’s earthquake in Nepal, our questions inevitably turn to: Are the people we know there safe?

One of our International Advisory Board members, Bob Nanes, experienced the earthquake from the streets of Kathmandu on Saturday, on his way to meet a friend for lunch. Besides serving on our board, Bob is a consultant for iDE and has decades of experience working in the region.

He is safe. As he says, he was a “lucky one.” He has described his experiences in detail on iDE’s blog.

Bob also sent us this photo of a greenhouse in the Lalitpur district of Nepal, originally built by farmers to better grow vegetables while working with iDE, the Horticulture Innovation Lab, and the IPM Innovation Lab. This is one of the districts that our team visited in January. Now without the shelter of their home, these farmers are taking cover in the greenhouses.

People cooking under the awning of a greenhouse made from wooden poles and plastic sheeting, near remnants of a home ruined in the earthquake.
For some in Nepal’s rural districts, greenhouses for growing vegetables are providing temporary shelter. Photo by Bimala Rai Colavito, courtesy of iDE.

Continue reading Nepal: When greenhouses become tents