The Horticulture Innovation Lab is currently soliciting full technical applications from regionally-based organizations to research appropriate technologies for climate-smart agriculture for small-sized farms in Honduras and Guatemala.
Horticulture Innovation Lab projects and initiatives focus on three key Feed the Future Global Food Security Strategy (GFSS) objectives and five cross-cutting themes.
- Inclusive and sustainable agriculture-led economic growth.
- Strengthened resilience among people and systems.
- A well-nourished population.
GFSS Cross-cutting Themes:
- Gender equality, equity and participation.
- Youth opportunities.
- Nutrition and food safety.
- Resilience and risk management.
Funding & Duration Information
- The selected research projects will be funded at $250,000 up to $750,000 depending on the scope of work, over a period of approximately 3 and 1/4 years. A total of approximately $1.2 million will be awarded, through which they aim to fund 2-4 projects. They encourage applications for a single subtheme, and collaborative projects that cover multiple sub-themes.
- The research projects must end by August 1, 2026, but can end earlier if the applicant believes objectives can be achieved prior to that final end date. The start date of research activities should be approximately May 1 2023.
- Research Priority
- The research priority is to identify the most effective and appropriate climate smart agriculture technologies and practices for small and medium-sized farms in Honduras and Guatemala. Producing nutritious fruits and vegetables sustainably and safely while facing the impacts of climate change will require the efficient use of resources and the capacity to produce horticulture crops in changing weather patterns. Climate-smart agriculture is needed to achieve food security and maintain or increase agricultural productivity.
- Climate-smart agriculture pursues three main objectives:
- Sustainably increasing agricultural productivity and incomes
- Adapting, and building resilience to climate change, and,
- Reducing and/or absorbing greenhouse gasses, to the extent possible.
- Research Goals and Subthemes
- Subtheme 1: Determining which protected structures and irrigation technologies (including practices) that can be used with protected structures are suitable for small scale production.
- Determine the availability and access of various kinds of protected structures that allow small-scale farms to produce safe, quality horticulture crops efficiently for food security and income generation.
- Identify barriers to adoption of these structures or technologies faced by women and mitigate these barriers.
- Examine how cooperatives and organized groups of farmers can increase exposure to effective technologies, thus increasing opportunities for small-scale growers to choose the best technology depending on their agroecological area.
- Determine methods for strengthening the capacity of these organizations to ensure equal and meaningful participation for female producers.
- Understand methods for or the impact of technologies to increase vegetable consumption among the producers and local communities.
- Subtheme 2: Technologies (including practices) for soil health and the incorporation and effect of water-efficient vegetable production on soil health.
- Determine most suitable soil health practices/technologies to increase crop production and profitability.
- Identify barriers faced by women to adoption of these practices or technologies and mitigate these barriers.
- Determine best approaches that increase biodiversity and soil quality for smallholder farmers.
- Determine strategies and type of training for farmers to increase efficient use of water for vegetable and fruit production that also lead to increased soil health.
- Subtheme 3: Post-harvest technologies for quality safe, secure, and nutritious produce.
- Determine technologies suitable for smallholder growers that increase the shelf life of products.
- Determine technologies that improve the postharvest handling of products to improve their quality and safety for food security.
- Determine the best way that a cooperative can scale up a technology to other members, especially for women and young people.
- Determine strategies through the implementation of postharvest technologies and practices that also can enhance dietary diversity.
Trellis Fellowship Fund
- The Horticulture Innovation Lab’s Trellis Fellowship Fund project connects U.S.-based graduate students with organizations in Africa, South Asia, and Central America to help foster collaborative research and build networks globally. The Innovation Lab’s Consortium Partner, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), will be implementing the Trellis Fellowship Fund from 2023 to 2026. FAMU will annually select graduate students from 1890 Land Grant Universities in the U.S. to participate in a Trellis Fellow Fund Project.
- The Trellis Fellowship Fund Project will also connect the U.S.-based graduate students with incountry graduate students. Typically, one U.S.-based graduate student is paired with one incountry student each year to work together on accomplishing the research goals.
The lead applicant organization and lead principal investigator must be from a USAID Feed the Future country from within the Central America region – specifically Honduras and/or Guatemala. Applicants can be from academic institutions, government sectors (including national agriculture research services), private entities, or other community-based organizations. While international collaboration is allowable, intellectual lead and management should remain in the region. This includes but is not limited to leading efforts in determining research methodology, implementation, and information dissemination, such as publications and conference participation. Priority will be given to research projects with budgets that include a majority of funds to regionally based partners.
For more information, visit Horticulture Innovation Lab.