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.
Structure: Organizations in developing countries submit proposals for up to $2,000 in funding to conduct adaptive research and outreach on problems faced by local farmers in horticultural production, pest management, postharvest practices, nutrition or marketing fruit and vegetable crops. Graduate students from the University of California, Davis, Cornell University, North Carolina State University and Hawaiʻi at Mānoa apply to be part of the Trellis projects. Selected students are reimbursed for travel expenses to visit their assigned project and receive a $300 fellowship for 100 hours of additional project support via email. See details below for the most recent proposal and application process.
Horticulture CRSP has funded three rounds of Trellis Fund projects, for a total of 38 projects in 15 Feed the Future focus countries.
Accomplishments from the first 23 completed Trellis projects include:
- 184 training and extension meetings
- 3,865 farmer participants (71% women)
- 116 demonstration plots
Current Trellis projects
Beginning in July 2013, the Horticulture Innovation Lab announced a third round of Trellis project for the 2013-2014 school year. Initially, 13 new projects were announced and later an additional 14th project was awarded after USAID resumed its agricultural work in Mali.
For more about this year's projects, print and share the current Trellis fact sheet (PDF) or browse below for additional details:
Promoting women in organic production of vegetables, value addition and reduction of postharvest loss
Organization: WECA Farmers Association
Student: Dominique Dhainaut, UC Davis
This project works with six established women farmer groups to raise incomes using postharvest technology for organic vegetables. There will be specific trainings on organic vegetable production and solar drying methods. Using solar drying techniques will create value-added products and reduce postharvest losses.
Seed saving for farmer seed security and biodiversity conservation
Organization: Mesoamerican Institute of Permaculture (IMAP)
Student: Jay Bost, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
IMAP will work with smallholder farms in the communities of San Lucas Tolimán to improve its seedbank. They will also promote these locally adapted varieties as a way of maintaining farmer seed security and biodiversity.
Farmers training on pollination-friendly practices within vegetable growing communities in the Mankessim STEP site
Organization: International Stingless Bee Centre (ISBC)
Student: Randall Cass, UC Davis
This project will train farmers on best practices to promote the heath of pollinator populations. Severe crop losses due to a declining population of honey bees in Ghana have brought this issue to the forefront for farmers in the area. To disseminate best practices, trainings with cultural specific materials will be created.
Utilization of locally abundant neem in IPM of horticultural crops
Organization: St. John's University of Tanzania
Student: Carly Summers, Cornell University
This project will research the use of locally produced neem (Azadirachta indica) seed to manage pests in local tomato production. Through on-farm field trials and partnering with government extension, this project will extend its research to help farmers improve tomato production and reduce misuse of chemical pesticides.
Introduction of kitchen gardens to KISC EQUIP partner schools
Organization: Kathmandu International Study Centre Education Quality Improvement Programme (KISC EQUIP)
Student: Courtney Jallo, UC Davis
This project will establish kitchen gardens in KISC EQUIP partner elementary schools. School gardens will be used to train students in simple farming techniques and will help partner schools provide nutritious meals to school children.
Promotion of production and marketing of early-maturing mango varieties through pest and disease control
Organization: Hoima District Farmers Association (HODFA)
Student: Sam Bird, UC Davis
HODFA will promote mango production in the area by using a farmer field school approach to train farmers on successful methods of pest and disease control. Mango diseases are a major problem in the area, and successful control methods will greatly improve production.
Enhancing farmers’ skills in monitoring and management of thrips in French beans
Organization: Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI)
Student: Hung Doan, UC Davis
KARI will work to decrease losses on thrip damage to French bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) by exploring different eco-friendly management techniques. They will enhance grower capacity to identify and manage this pest by organizing farmer exchange visits to innovative farms, training and demonstration plot visits.
Empowering women socially and economically through the valorization of hibiscus, cowpea and cassava
Organization: ADC Super Crown
Student: Amanda Lewis, UC Davis
ADC Super Crown will work with women's groups within the region of Louga, Senegal to add value to their production of hibiscus, cowpeas and cassava through postharvest processing. They will also work with these groups to improve their financial literacy and accounting skills so that they can better manage their profits.
Food security and nutrition for long-term sustainability
Organization: Ande Liguey
Student: Erin McGuire, UC Davis
Ande Liguey, a female farmers collective in western Senegal, will train women farmers in improved horticultural and postharvest practices. Since female literacy rates are low, the group is creating word-free educational materials that can be used in local trainings.
Helping homestead gardeners mitigate the impact of soil salinity
Organization: Helen Keller International (HKI)
Student: Hannah Waterhouse, UC Davis
With local partners, HKI will train existing farmer groups in soil management techniques and cultivation of saline-tolerant crops. They will establish a demonstration area to introduce farmers to low-cost, low-tech management techniques that they can easily implement on their own farms.
Minimizing postharvest losses among smallholder mango farmers through training on harvest and postharvest practices
Organization: University of Nairobi
Student: Ngoc Nham, UC Davis
This project will minimize postharvest losses among smallholder mango farmers through training on best production practices and postharvest techniques. The postharvest training will include a demonstration of a CoolBot, which will extend the shelf life of the mangoes.
Empowerment for improved nutritional security through beetroot (Beta Vugaris) cultivation and consumption in semi-urban households in Jinja District
Organization: Mwino Group
Student: Alex Greenspan, UC Davis
Through trainings, workshops, and hands-on demonstrations, women living in semi-urban Jinja will learn how to successfully cultivate and market beetroots on small parcels of land. They will also be trained in beetroot preparation to increase home consumption and improve nutrition.
Fruit farming for income generation and nutrition
Organization: Uganda Rural Information and Communication Technology/Educational Center (URICT-Uganda)
Student: Daniel Quinn, UC Davis
URICT-Uganda will start a training program in organic orange and mango production for rural women farmers. Trainings will cover pest and disease control, good agricultural practices and marketing. The training group will also function as a forum for information sharing.
Combating poverty with vegetable technology: Capsicum annuum chili peppers in Mali
Organization: Rural Polytechnic Institute for Training and Applied Research
Student: Adama Perry Traore, UC Davis
Though varieties of Capsicum chinense and C. frutescens are grown widely in Mali, varieties of C. annuum are easy to produce and show significant yield advantage over other pepper varieties grown in Mali; however, this species is not widely known by farmers or consumers. This project is working with university students, farmer groups, and private industry to evaluate varieties and educate farmers and consumers about growing, marketing and processing Capsicum annuum.
Previous Trellis projects
Second round: See more details about the second round of projects on the 2012-2013 fact sheet (PDF), or read the press release announcing the awards. Student participants from this round also shared their experiences in a press release promoting the third call for applications and in a related newsletter article.
Photos collected from student trips for Trellis projects are available on Flickr.
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? Here is our information for Trellis students who are currently participating in these projects.