New project combines vegetables and livestock in Cambodian farming

A version of this article first appeared on the UC Davis One Health blog

New research supported by the Horticulture Innovation Lab at UC Davis aims to help farmers in Cambodia better integrate growing vegetables, raising livestock and maintaining healthy soil — all in the same place.

“By understanding the interactions between horticulture and livestock systems, we can help farmers make better use of agricultural inputs such as fertilizer and labor, which will help improve a farmer’s bottom line,” says Erin McGuire, associate director of the program, which is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

“Systems thinking” is critical to making a real-world impact in global food security, according to Jessie Vipham, project leader for the new $750,000 project and assistant professor at Kansas State University’s Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab.

“Too often overlooked is that systems piece, the very fact that these things — crops and livestock, soil health and human health — play together. Continue reading New project combines vegetables and livestock in Cambodian farming

Seeking insights into integrated animal-horticulture systems

Understanding the socioeconomic feasibility and trade-offs involved in mixed crop-livestock farming systems — ones that specifically incorporate fruit and vegetable crops — is the focus of a new call for concept notes.

The Horticulture Innovation Lab is offering a grant up to $750,000 over three years to support a research project in integrated animal-horticulture systems. Sept. 19, 2016 is the deadline for brief concept notes, submitted by U.S. university researchers.

The research should be focused on the needs of smallholder farmers in developing countries that are part of Feed the Future, with priority given to Cambodia, Nepal and Rwanda.

“We are hoping to attract researchers from a range of disciplines — sociologists, economists, livestock specialists, and agriculturists — who have experience working in this area, even if not specifically with horticultural crops,” said Beth Mitcham, director of the Horticulture Innovation Lab. “The most important thing is to have a  Continue reading Seeking insights into integrated animal-horticulture systems