Horticulture Innovation Lab in Africa

Africa map with Horticulture Innovation Lab project highlights - Advancing the science of postharvest loss reduction, Innovating with farmers to improve irrigation in Uganda, Scaling up nets for pest-exclusion in Kenya, Training new postharvest experts in Tanzania, Improving nutrition with African vegetables, Identifying horticultural opportunities in Guinea
Select Horticulture Innovation Lab projects in Africa, from a poster displayed at a conference focused on United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) held at UC Davis in 2017.

The Horticulture Innovation Lab has research teams working in several African countries to advance horticultural science in relation to nutritious vegetables, reducing postharvest losses, improving fruit and vegetable production, helping smallholder farmers access appropriate irrigation solutions and other research topics related to fruit and vegetable production.

More information about the Horticulture Innovation Lab's projects are available in fact sheets focused on the program's activities and research investments in three African regions:

One of the program's major projects is focused on improving nutrition with African indigenous vegetables in Kenya and Zambia. This five-year project incorporates team members and lessons learned from previous projects in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia that focused on various aspects of the value chain for African indigenous vegetables.

Another major project is focused on reducing postharvest losses in Rwanda, which takes a systematic approach to the complex challenges and business opportunities inherent in postharvest stages of horticultural crops. The research project includes evaluations of postharvest losses across four different value chains, establishing postharvest training and service centers (PTSCs) in three locations, and building entrepreneurial capacity for stakeholders to capture value while reducing losses.

In 2015 during the wake of the Ebola outbreak, the Horticulture Innovation Lab was contracted to conduct a "Rapid Assessment of the Horticulture Sector in Guinea," as part of USAID's long-term response to the region. After the report, the program also began work in Guinea to establish a youth-led Horticulture Training and Service Center to share horticultural innovations with the region while engaging local youth in profitable endeavors. 


Richard Malingumu

Richard Malingumu is an Assistant Lecturer of Soil Science in the Department of Environmental sciences at Muni University in Arua, Uganda. He holds a MSc in Soil Science from Makerere University, a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration from Uganda Management Institute, a BSc in Agricultural Land use and Management from Makerere University, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Farming Systems and Rural Livelihoods from Wageningen University and Research (WUR).

Ratib Dricile

Dr. Ratib Dricile is a researcher at Muni University in Uganda, and the acting Dean of the faculty of health science. He received his PhD in Public Health specializing in Childhood Nutrition from the University of Central Nicaragua, and a master's degree in Emerging and Neglected Infectious Diseases from the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

Comfort Freeman

Dr. Comfort Freeman is a Senior lecturer in the Department of Agricultural Extension, University of Ghana, Legon. She holds a PhD in Social Sciences from Wageningen University and an MPhil in Agricultural Extension. She has over twenty-one years of research experience in Agricultural Extension and Rural development.

John Nzungize

Dr. John Nzungize, originally from Rwanda, is the Vegetable Systems Scientist and Country Representative for Mali at Worldveg. With over 20 years of experience in leadership and management across various levels of Research for Development in Sub-Saharan Africa, Dr. Nzungize possesses a proven track record in establishing and managing partnerships with international institutions.

Richard Adu Amoah

Dr. Richard Adu Amoah is a Plant Breeder with Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – Plant Genetic Resources Institute (CSIR-PGRRI) who has expertise in crop germplasm collection, assessment of plant genetic diversity as well as application of conventional breeding techniques and advanced molecular tools to improve the performance and productivity of crops.

Maame Yaakwaah Adjei

Dr. Maame Yaakwaah Adjei is a Senior Lecturer and teaches Food Science at the Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Ghana. Dr. Adjei’s current research interests are in Sensory and Consumer Science.