UC Davis leads an international effort to help developing countries out of poverty through improved marketing and production of high-value horticultural crops. Established by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Horticulture Innovation Lab supports projects to improve the livelihoods of the worlds poor and builds on needs highlighted in the Global Horticulture Assessment (2MB PDF).
Please click here to visit the Horticulture Innovation Lab website.
GlobalHort Board Chair, Norman Looney and Vice-Chair Dyno Keatinge, both serving on the International Advisory Board for the USAID-funded Horticulture Innovation Lab managed by colleagues at the University of California at Davis, participated in the May 9 official opening of the Regional Center of Innovation at the Kenya Agriculture Research Institute (KARI) at Thika. This event, associated with the Horticulture Innovation Lab's Annual Meeting in Nairobi, attracted more than 100 scientists, industry representatives and government officials and featured a very interesting display of new technologies that have come from research associated with the Horticulture Innovation Lab program of work. This new Center of Innovation joins two others already in operation – one in Thailand (Kasersat University) and the other in Honduras (Zamorano).
This new Center is located at KARI’s Practical Training Center, a facility that is strongly supported by the Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK). Dr. Stephen Mbithi, President of that Association, was front and center during this ceremony as was Dr. Lusike Wasilwa, Assistant Director for Horticulture and Industrial Crops at KARI. Lusika will manage this new Center of Innovation.
The Horticulture Innovation Lab and The Global Horticulture Initiative are mapping horticultural development projects in order to populate an online resource that enables funding agencies and project creators to learn about existing projects, find potential linkages and identify areas of need.
The maps of current projects will enable donors, researchers and development workers to find out who is active, build collaborations and create complementary projects. The maps of completed projects will provide a better understanding of what work has been done in a given country or region. The intent is not only to provide an overview, but also to enable users to access detailed information on individual projects, seek out past project implementers and learn about what worked and what did not.
Please help us improve this resource by sending us information about your horticultural projects in the developing world. Please visit this webiste and fill out our short survey for each of your horticultural projects.
In December, 2009 GlobalHort’s Webmaster in Charge of Communications, Jerry Miner (middle), met with Horticulture Innovation Lab staff, Mark Bell (left), Ron Voss (right) and Michael Reid, at the University of California in Davis (UCDavis). The objective of the meeting was to explore and identify collaborative opportunities in terms of the web presence and information management.
It was acknowledged that GlobalHort has become the primary internet site for horticulture for development since 2007. GlobalHort will continue to have as its main purpose to promote R&D, grants, a knowledge hub and facilitate capacity building. Linkages will be developed by both parties that will allow the sharing and/or reuse of web content.
GlobalHort will be the primary source of horticultural events, success stories and RSS news feeds. Mechanisms will be developed to allow for the sharing of calls and opportunities for funding, a database of organizations, mailing lists, and grants. GlobalHort has already developed a significant database for Europe and Africa which needs to be categorized into donors, active researchers and their institutes, potential collaborators, and active organizations. The GlobalHort Knowledge Hub will link to the Horticulture Innovation Lab Knowledge Bank as it develops.
There is a future potential for greater collaboration in the facilitation of capacity building between the two organizations if the GlobalHort CORIPHA initiative is funded by the EU. The CORIPHA platforms could coincide with Horticulture Innovation Lab sustainable Centers of Excellence (COE) in sub-Saharan Africa.
Another collaborative partner is AVRDC. Warwick Easdown has recently announced that their new website is now live, and has extended links to both GlobalHort and Horticulture Innovation Lab. Warwick states that “We hope that together we can create a better knowledge bank for horticultural crops that provides easy access to what is known and ready access to conversations with expert groups when there is no simple answer”.
There is indeed much to do. Together our three organizations can work together to advocate and facilitate the development of horticulture for the health and prosperity of all.