Watch the new 2013 video introduction to Horticulture CRSP's Trellis Fund projects.
Browse photos from Horticulture CRSP Trellis projects.
The Horticulture CRSP Trellis Fund
Engaging U.S. graduate students in international development
The Trellis Fund provides small-scale, in-country development organizations access to U.S. graduate student expertise, providing benefit to both the student and the in-country institutions. With a focus on impact and expansion of locally proven ideas, the Trellis Fund matches the organizations with students and provides modest funds to support the organization’s farmer outreach program.
Horticulture CRSP has funded two rounds of Trellis Fund projects, for a total of 24 projects. In the first completed round of Trellis projects, 10 organizations working with 10 graduate students produced:
- 124 training and extension meetings
- 1,935 farmer participants, including 1,492 female farmers trained
- 10 demonstration plots
Current Trellis projects
The second round of Trellis projects began in September 2012, with 14 projects on three continents and graduate students from UC Davis, North Carolina State University, Cornell University and University of Hawaii at Manoa. Projects continue throughout the 2012-2013 school year. Read the press release, download the 2012-2013 fact sheet, or browse below for more about each of the ongoing Trellis projects:
Promoting organic pest management and control in vegetables
Organization: Uganda Environmental Education Foundation (UEEF)
Student: Carrie Teiken, UC Davis
UEEF will work to promote pest and disease prevention in common vegetable crops grown in the central Mukono district of Ugbanda, including tomato, onion, nakati (Solanum aethiopicum), okra, eggplant, cabbage, local spinach, and sweet, green and hot pepper. By promoting organic pesticides and idea exchange among six farmer groups of Mpata Sub County, the group intends to increase production and consumption of these key vegetable crops by rural farmers.
Improvement on vegetable cultivation practices through integrated pest management and farmers field school
Organization: Ecological Services Centre (ECOSCENTRE)
Student: Rachel Suits, North Carolina State University
ECOSCENTRE Nepal will work with both farmers and students of the Chitwan district to improve cultivation practices through an integrated pest management approach. IPM management advantages will be demonstrated through a farmer field school in which farmers and students design and evaluate experiments that compare conventional and IPM management of crucifer, cucurbit, and solanaceous crops.
Strengthening Irish Potato production through collaborative exchange research
Organization: Eldoret Region Company-Christian Community Services
Student: Bob Johnson, UC Davis
Though potatoes are Kenya’s second most important food crop, the local crop is limited by poor seed quality, inadequate knowledge of production techniques and poor postharvest handling and storage. In the face of these limitations, Eldoret Region Company-Christian Community Services (CCS) plans to improve opportunities for farmers in their region by disseminating modern production techniques of potatoes (called “Irish potatoes”) and building capacity of individuals to sustainably provide clean germplasm materials.
Improvement of indigenous African leafy vegetables (ALV) for food security in urban farmers
Organization: Sapporo Mobi-Vet
Student: Whitney Brim-DeForest, UC Davis
Sapporo Mobi-Vet is an agricultural consultancy organization of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania that will train urban farmers in production, preservation and marketing of indigenous vegetables. In the long-term these products will provide a source of food for economic security and improved nutrition for urban dwellers, especially those afflicted with HIV/AIDs and women farmers. Participatory approaches will be used to achieve these project goals and impact farmers through the organization’s small agricultural cooperatives.
Promoting orange fleshed sweet potato for improved livelihoods in Hoima district
Organization: Eco-Agric Uganda
Student: A.J. Campbell, UC Davis
Eco-Agric Uganda will work in the rapidly developing Hoima district to establish a cost-effective method for distribution of quality orange-fleshed sweet potato planting material. The improved production of this Vitamin A-rich crop will enhance people’s livelihoods and diets. The project will also aim to develop small-scale processing and commercialization systems for orange-fleshed sweet potato that can be affordable for the rural farmers in the Hoima district.
Adoption of cowpea as a horticultural crop
Organization: National Semi Arid Resources Research Institute/National Agriculture Research Organisation (NaSARRI/NARO)
Student: Graham Savio, UC Davis
Cowpea is a hardy crop and an inexpensive source of vegetable protein, fiber and vitamins to the rural poor. Dried cowpea leaves are also enjoyed in the eastern and northern parts of Uganda. This project seeks to raise farmers’ awareness of the horticultural value of cowpea, and carry out on-farm evaluation trials of promising cowpea lines in the Teso sub-region of Uganda.
Mushroom farming initiative for better livelihood of widow farmers
Organization: Sustaining Rwanda Youth Organization
Student: Bryan Sobel, Cornell University
This project aims to decrease the rate of malnutrition and poverty among 200 small-scale women farmers whose lives were changed by the Rwanda genocide of 1994 (victims’ widows and perpetrators’ wives) by enabling them to grow mushrooms. This horticultural crop is common in local cuisine and has a very high demand in the region. The Sustaining Rwanda Youth Organization will increase the capacity of these women farmers by training them on mushroom production and harvesting techniques as well as long-term local and regional marketing.
Promoting organic mango and orange fruit farming
Organization: Teso Women Development Enterprise
Student: Brian Flanagan, Cornell University
In this project the Teso Women Development Enterprise will use a train-the-trainers approach to strengthen the capacity of 180 small-scale farmers in the Teso district of Uganda on mango and citrus farming. Through this project, smallholder farmers will be trained in orchard management, pest and disease control, postharvest handling techniques, effective use of agrochemicals and formulation of organic pesticides and fertilizers.
Soil fertility improvement and increasing yield of organically grown tomatoes
Organization: Sustainable Agriculture Development Program
Student: Arun Jani, North Carolina State University
The extensive and improper use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in Nepal has become a hazard both to human and crop health. Farmers in the region also report that crop production has reduced over time and that their soils have “died.” Sustainable Agriculture Development Program Nepal (SADP-Nepal) will work with farmers in the Kavre district to improve soil fertility organically and cut back on the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers to increase production of safe and healthy tomatoes.
Value addition and reduction of postharvest losses
Organization: Uganda Network for Community Empowerment
Student: Ephrem Rukundo, UC Davis
UNCE is a community-based organization whose network operates in 10 centers, each with 30 farmer members. Members produce fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as maize and beans. Due to inadequate handling, processing and storage, they experience high postharvest losses, typically more than 35 percent. In order to reach their full market potential, this project seeks to assist farmers through the design and implementation of appropriate postharvest technologies that maintain quality and extend shelf life of the produce.
Student: Amanda McWhirt, North Carolina State University
In this project PROMESA will work directly with farmers in Honduras’ Nueva Palestina, Patuca Olancho region, along with their families and students from a local high school, to develop and manage a 3-acre demonstration field. On the demonstration plot, PROMESA will conduct trainings on basic vegetable gardening techniques, plant seasonal vegetables, establish a composting center and participate with field days, site visits and other extension activities for local farmers and their families.
Capacity building with women farmers in organic horticulture and family nutrition
Organization: Caritas Parroquial Esquipulas
Student: Angel Cruz, North Carolina State University
Caritas Parroquial of Esquipulas promotes a food security program with 70 women farmers in six rural communities in the municipality of Esquipulas, Matagalpa, Nicaragua through self-sufficient organic farming. However, the uncertain conditions of a subtropical climate have made farming tomato and other horticulture crops especially challenging. To respond to this challenge the organization has introduced the use of greenhouse tunnels to establish nurseries and control conditions during the early vital stages of growth. As this is a new technology for the region, the organization will use this project to develop better technical knowledge and guidelines for their group of women farmers to more effectively use greenhouse tunnels.
Improving banana maintenance, soil management and intercropping education among female smallholder farmers
Organization: Gardens for Health International
Student: Gabriel Sachter-Smith, University of Hawai’i at Manoa
Gardens for Health International has identified that many smallholder farmers in Rwanda could maximize agricultural productivity and improve household diets through improved banana maintenance, soil management and intercropping. Many smallholder farmers dedicate their land to overcrowded banana production, limiting banana yield and space available for other crops. This project seeks to adapt banana and soil management expertise to a resource-scarce environment and to develop interactive educational tools targeted to female smallholder farmers. Agriculture extension agents will train mothers of malnourished children to improve their agriculture practices and, ultimately, the health and wellbeing of their families.
Developing tools for intra-household resource allocation in vegetable growing households
Organization: Rural Agency for Sustainable Development
Student: Sarah Sahlaney, UC Davis
The Rural Agency for Sustainable Development in Nkokonjeru will work with existing farmer groups in the region to promote vegetable crops traditionally grown by women and to develop culturally appropriate institutions through which women can sell these crops and save their income.
Previous Trellis projects:
Proposals and applications
Please note: The deadline to apply for the 2013-2014 Trellis Fund has passed. This section is provided for information only and is based on our most recent request for proposals; these details may change in future funding rounds. Please check back in late 2013 for information about future Trellis opportunities, or join our email list.
For organizations: Organizations in 18 developing countries were invited to identify a horticultural problem facing local farmers and the type of expertise they seek in a U.S. graduate student. The organization submits a project proposal with their intended objectives, activities, gender program and a $2,000 budget for consideration. Organizations that have not already been funded by Trellis receive priority.
- Request for Proposals (pdf)
- Budget and Activities Template (xls)
- Request for Proposals - en Español (pdf)
For graduate students: Graduate students from UC Davis, Cornell University, North Carolina State University and University of Hawaii at Manoa are invited to submit applications to participate. Students will be selected based on how well their expertise reflects the needs of the approved projects. Selected students will travel to meet their partner organization and clientele farmers and, upon return, will support their organization’s outreach program via email. Students will be provided air travel, reimbursed for lodging and provided a $300 fellowship for additional project support. Student applications include a resume, statement of purpose and two references. For more details, please see:
Once the project is approved for funding, the Trellis Fund matches the organization with a graduate student with appropriate knowledge and skills. Funds will be provided to the organization to support their farmer outreach program, and the graduate student will provide expertise in supporting the program. See press release for additional details.
Trellis Fund proposals may address:
- horticultural production (including irrigation and fertilization)
- pest management
- postharvest practices
- marketing issues
Resources for current Trellis students
Looking for forms for travel or reimbursement? Interview questions? Here is our information for Trellis students who are currently participating in these projects.