Building a solar dryer at Bangladesh Agricultural University

portrait: Elizabeth Mitcham
Beth Mitcham, director of the Horticulture Innovation Lab

Angelos Deltsidis and I traveled to Bangladesh in January for meetings related to a collaborative project we’re working on with the Nutrition Innovation Lab and other partners. While we were there, we had a chance to work with faculty and students at Bangladesh Agricultural University to build a chimney solar dryer for drying fresh produce.

Though I have been to Bangladesh many times before, this was my first time visiting Bangladesh Agricultural University and the nearby city of Mymensingh. As you can see in the photos, the weather was surprisingly cold during our visit!

While there, we met with Continue reading Building a solar dryer at Bangladesh Agricultural University

Moving forward from the First International PHL Congress

portrait: Elizabeth Mitcham
Beth Mitcham, director of the Horticulture Innovation Lab

In October, I was fortunate to gather with colleagues from around the world in Rome for the First International Congress on Postharvest Loss Prevention (PHL Congress). It was rewarding to see the worldwide attention that is now being given to reducing food losses, a topic I have been passionate about for many years.

This event was organized by the ADM Institute for the Prevention of Postharvest Loss; I serve on the institute’s external advisory board and was part of the planning committee for this first-ever PHL Congress event.

During the event, I spoke on how Continue reading Moving forward from the First International PHL Congress

Thailand: Visiting Kasetsart University

In November, I  visited Kasetsart University and toured the Horticulture Innovation Lab Regional Center there and also the World Vegetable Center (AVRDC) demonstration garden nearby. It was great to see the new, central location of the Regional Center that showcases small-scale horticultural technologies.

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Students at Kasetsart University were using the technologies in their class. Sliced bananas were drying in the chimney solar dryer (see above), next to a demonstration of solar-powered drip irrigation. Also on the site were Continue reading Thailand: Visiting Kasetsart University

Visiting Cambodia: Conservation agriculture and marketing by motorbike

Editor’s note: As our management team members visit Horticulture Innovation Lab partners and research sites in developing countries, we are sharing with you glimpses into their visits, with travel updates and photos.

As director of the Horticulture Innovation Lab, I traveled to Cambodia with Manuel Reyes of North Carolina A&T State University to launch a spin-off project related to his earlier research in Cambodia on conservation agriculture and drip irrigation for women vegetable farmers. We visited with several women vegetable farmer groups who have been successfully practicing conservation agriculture in Siem Reap.

photo: team members discuss project

Manny Reyes, right, and two of his team members in Cambodia, Rechaney (left) and Rain (center), discuss progress in the conservation agriculture plots during a meeting with a group of women farmers.

group photo in field in Cambodia

Here is one of the women farmer groups we visited, standing in their conservation agriculture plot and showing the water tank for the drip irrigation system in the background. The farmers needed less labor to manage the conservation agriculture plots due to reduced weeding and watering. Continue reading Visiting Cambodia: Conservation agriculture and marketing by motorbike