AIARD honors Amanda Crump for distinguished service

Amanda Crump, our program’s associate director, was honored recently by the Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD) with its Award for Distinguished Service.

The award honors public service and major contributions to the association’s objectives — namely, improving global capacity to eliminate poverty, improve food security, conserve the environment, and stimulate economic growth. The award was presented at the AIARD Annual Conference, June 1 in Washington, D.C.

Amanda Crump portrait
Amanda Crump

As the associate director for the Horticulture Innovation Lab at UC Davis, Crump leads the program’s gender equity focus and is responsible for monitoring a portfolio of research projects. Her own research focuses on novel practices for agricultural extension education for farmers — particularly women — in developing countries. She also leads the UC Davis portion of a multi-university program focused on integrating gender and nutrition into agricultural extension services in several countries, called INGENEAS.

Crump has served as the Continue reading AIARD honors Amanda Crump for distinguished service

Event: International postharvest symposium in Cambodia

Update: The deadline to submit an abstract has been extended to June 30, with early registration available until July 15.

Cambodia will be the setting for the International Society for Horticultural Science’s third “Southeast Asia Symposium on Quality Management in Postharvest Systems.” The symposium will be Aug. 13-15 in Siem Reap.

This ISHS event will highlight innovations related to postharvest aspects of the horticultural value chain, including food safety, reducing postharvest losses, processing, fresh-cut, packaging, microbiology, supply chain management, and seed quality.

May 30 June 30 is the deadline to submit an abstract.

Who is participating

Agricultural scholars from universities, government ministries, and non-governmental organizations will attend, from countries throughout Southeast Asia and the rest of the world. University students are also encouraged to participate.

“This is a great chance for students to publish and learn a lot about new technologies and new research—especially for students in Cambodia, since there’s not many chances for them to go abroad to other international conferences,” said Borarin Buntong, one of the organizers. Continue reading Event: International postharvest symposium in Cambodia

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

‘Local’ inspiration from half a world away

An entomology researcher in North Carolina. A program coordinator in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A social change specialist in Washington, D.C. A banana expert in Hawaii. A project evaluator in Ghana.

Many of the graduate students who have participated in the Horticulture Innovation Lab’s Trellis Fund projects have gone on to interesting careers in diverse places.

photo: portrait of Mark Lundy
Mark Lundy, UC Cooperative Extension advisor, now works with farmers in Colusa, Sutter and Yuba counties in California.

One of the first students to travel with a Trellis Fund project was Mark Lundy, then a UC Davis grad student who worked in Malawi on a tomato project led by the Bvumbwe Agricultural Research Station.

Today Mark works with farmers in California as a Cooperative Extension advisor on crops such as tomatoes, alfalfa, wheat, sunflower, beans and vegetables, with the University of California’s Agriculture and Natural Resources. (He also recently co-authored a popular paper about insects as food.)

This week, Mark wrote for the Feed the Future blog about his experience Continue reading ‘Local’ inspiration from half a world away

Visiting Tanzania: Postharvest Training and Services Center

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.

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Merius Nzalawahe, right, purchases materials from the store at the Postharvest Training and Services Center, from Odette Ngulu with Tanzania’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Cooperatives.

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