Status: Current | Start – End Date: 2010 – 2015
Department of Plant Sciences
University of California
One Shields Avenue (190 EH)
Davis, CA 95616-5270
Dr. Elizabeth Mitcham,
The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Horticulture (Feed the Future Horticulture Innovation Lab)builds global partnerships for fruit and vegetable research that improves nutrition and livelihoods in developing countries. The program is active in more than thirty countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, South and South-East Asia, and Latin America.
The Horticulture Innovation Lab activities address three major themes: information accessibility, innovation, and gender equity. The program prioritizes research and projects that focus on sustainable crop production, postharvest technology, food safety, market access, and financing. A combination of short-term, high impact projects and multi-year, in-depth projects facilitate the development and dissemination of new technologies and information to small producers. Projects work at multiple levels of the agricultural value chain: improving seed systems and identifying low-cost pest exclusion technologies to enhance productivity; introducing postharvest technologies and marketing techniques to increase incomes; and, disseminating improved food safety practices and information on nutrition-rich fruits and vegetables (e.g., green leafy vegetables and orange-fleshed sweet potatoes).
A special feature of the Horticulture Innovation Lab is the establishment of regional Centers of Innovation where researchers, extension workers, and the private sector can exchange and generate knowledge on the promotion and adoption of horticultural technologies and offer training. The program has opened three centers so far in Kenya, Honduras, and Thailand.
The Horticulture Innovation Lab contributes to meeting Feed the Future objectives by dissemination new technology and information to enhanced horticultural production and marketing, increasing women’s access to income through horticultural crop production, and improving household production of micronutrient-rich foods.
The Horticulture Innovation Lab is managed by UC Davis and works in collaboration with more than fifteen U.S. universities including Cornell University, University of Hawaii at Manoa, and North Carolina State University, as well as a number of host-country institutions. Partnerships in Africa, Central and South America, and in Asia connect Horticulture Innovation Lab activities to research institutions, host-country universities and private sector entities.