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.
Graduate student researcher Elyssa Lewis and I were invited to observe a refresher training course in Arusha, Tanzania, hosted by the World Food Logistics Organization (WFLO) and the TOPS Program.
When we visited, the WFLO was also in the process of evaluating a pilot project that trained experts in postharvest handling of fresh produce and established a Postharvest Training and Services Center in Arusha. This project was originally funded by the Horticulture Innovation Lab and led by Diane Barrett, of UC Davis. As a program officer for the Horticulture Innovation Lab, I work with these researchers and others to evaluate and disseminate their research and new technologies.
The Postharvest Training and Services Center is so much more than a training center. It aims to combine extension-type services with a sustainable business model. The small store pictured here is open every day to sell plastic packing crates, tree clippers, jars, buckets and other materials that local growers and processors can use to better handle fruits and vegetables after harvest. Continue reading Visiting Tanzania: Postharvest Training and Services Center
Reporter Giovanni Ortolani visited with Horticulture Innovation Lab partners in Bangkok, Thailand, recently to learn about how farmers in humid climates can better save seed using drying beads. His video (below) and article “How seed-drying beads can empower farmers in the tropics” were published this week on SciDev.Net, a news website focused on science and technology for global development.
When stored in hot, humid conditions, vegetable seed deteriorates rapidly — lowering germination rates and farmers’ yields. Ortolani interviewed Patcharin Taridno, senior manager of seed technology with Rhino Research, about how the company’s zeolite-based “drying beads” can help farmers better dry seeds for storage by reducing relative humidity. Continue reading How drying beads work, in a new SciDev.Net video
A partnership between university scientists and a private technology company has sprouted both new concepts and new tools that can help vegetable farmers in developing countries access better seeds.
For many smallholder farmers, buying and trading vegetable seeds can be risky. The benefits of purchasing seed can be high, with improved crop varieties offering disease resistance, increased vigor and improved taste. But the risks of receiving poor-quality seed are also significant, particularly in tropical climates. Seed will deteriorate rapidly if it is not properly dried and stored. The resulting poor germination reduces yields, which for vegetable farmers can mean staggered harvests and inconsistent crop quality.
We restarted our email newsletter this week. If you’re not a subscriber yet, you’re in luck! Below is a copy of the newsletter, and you can also sign up to subscribe for next time.
Welcome to the new format of our email newsletter! You may remember us as “Hort CRSP,” but we are kicking off our second five-year phase with a new program name, new newsletter and – most importantly – some new projects. As a subscriber, you can expect to get about one email newsletter per month from us, with program updates, horticultural information, and other international development news. Continue reading Newsletter: Projects awarded, email newsletter restarts