Graduate student Carrie Teiken examines a citrus tree with volunteers and farmers while working with an organization in Uganda on a Trellis project. See more photos from Horticulture Innovation Lab Trellis projects by browsing below or by visiting our Trellis album on Flickr.
Browse photos from Horticulture Innovation Lab Trellis projects.
The Horticulture Innovation Lab Trellis Fund
Engaging U.S. graduate students in international development
Our 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. Trellis Fund projects may address irrigation, fertilization, other aspects of production, pest management, postharvest practices, nutrition, or marketing issues in relation to fruits, vegetables and high-value horticultural crops.
The Trellis Fund is currently accepting project proposals! Organizations in Feed the Future countries are invited to identify a horticultural problem facing local farmers and the type of expertise they seek in a U.S. graduate student. Organizations that have not already been funded by Trellis will receive priority. Organizations with a staff of 50 or fewer will also receive priority.
- Organizational proposals or applications due: Sept. 15, 2014
- Organizational funding decisions: Nov.1, 2014
- Funding available to organizations: March 1, 2015
- Projects completed by: Dec. 31, 2015
New in 2014: Two types of Trellis funding are available for organizations to consider. Please read carefully to determine which type of Trellis funding your organization should apply for. This flowchart (.pdf) also provides a basic overview of how the two application and selection processes will work.
For Technical Trellis Proposals, the organization will submit a full project proposal, including intended objectives, activities, gender program and a $2,000 budget for consideration. Successful applicants will be paired with a U.S. graduate student with relevant technical expertise. Directions for Technical Trellis Proposals:
- Request for Technical Trellis Proposals (.pdf) This includes application instructions. Please note that there is not an application form for this track whereas there is a separate application form for the concept note track.
- Budget and Activities Template for Technical Trellis Proposals (.xls)
For Project Development Concept Notes, the organization will submit a much briefer concept note detailing the horticultural problem for which they would like U.S. graduate student assistance in developing a full proposal. These full proposals will then be evaluated, and successful proposals will be funded. Project development concept notes are aimed at organizations that want to build their capacity in grant writing and project development. Directions and application materials for Project Development Concept Notes:
- Request for Project Development Concept Notes (.pdf)
- Project Development Concept Note Application Form (.pdf) This is required for this track.
Questions about the proposal and application process should be directed to TrellisFund@gmail.com.
Future Call for Student Applications
The call for student applications will be publicized after projects have been selected for funding, beginning Nov. 1, 2014 and ending Dec. 1, 2014. U.S. graduate students will be selected based on how well their expertise reflects the needs of the approved projects, and matched with organization by Feb. 15, 2015. Selected Technical Track students will travel to meet their partner organization and clientele farmers, and upon return will support their organization’s outreach program via email. Project Development Track students will visit their organizations to help with proposal development in March or April 2015. If the proposal application is successful, the student will return over the summer to help his/her organization implement the project. They will also support their organization’s work via email.
All students will be provided air travel, reimbursed for lodging, and provided a $300 fellowship for additional project support.
U.S. graduate students from Horticulture Innovation Lab partner institutions can email Kelsey Barale to make sure they are notified of the call for applications when it becomes available, or check back on this website.
The Horticulture Innovation Lab 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
The Horticulture Innovation Lab awarded a third round of Trellis project for the 2013-2014 school year in July 2013. Initially, 13 new projects were announced and later an additional 14th project was awarded after USAID resumed its agricultural work in Mali. A press release summarizes the awards.
For more information about these projects, print and share the current Trellis fact sheet (PDF). This year's projects are described below:
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.
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.