On Monday 7th May, 2018, prior to the launch of the 2018 Horticulture Innovation Lab Meeting in Rwanda, Representatives from the Horticulture Innovation Lab UCDAVIS and USAID whom included Elizabeth Mitcham the Director of Horticulture Innovation Lab UCDAVIS, paid a visit to the University of Rwanda-College of Agriculture, Animal Sciences and Veterinary Medicine (UR-CAVM).
Elizabeth Mitcham, Director of the Horticulture Innovation Lab, UCDAVIS signing Visitors’ Book
UR-CAVM is implementing a project geared to reducing postharvest losses in the Rwandan horticulture with main emphasis on four crops green bananas, chilies, tomatoes and orange flesh sweet potato (OFSP).
The project envisions to increasing food security in Rwanda, by understanding and identifying the most efficient ways to reduce postharvest losses. Gain understanding of post-harvest losses, constraints and opportunities in the four identified horticultural crop value chains.
The project also sought to determine the benefits of introducing improved postharvest practices and technologies in partnership with three institutions. Build entrepreneurial capacity in stakeholders across the value chain
According to Dr. Hilda Vasanthakaalam the project principal investigator, after results validation training to famers will offered in the framework of technology transfer and community outreach by the University of Rwanda to the Rwandan Community. This will be achieved through Busogo Postharvest Training and Services Centre (PTSC) officially launched by official from the Horticulture Innovation Lab UCDAVIS, USAID through Feed the Future Project, UR-CAVM on Monday 07th May, 2018.
The PTSC is expected to help farmer get hands on skills through trainings, workshops, experiments, demonstrations and adaptative researches. Sensitize farmers on adaptation of appropriate practices for reducing postharvest losses (appropriate containers and affordable storage technologies for postharvest handling. The PTSC will also serve as Practice Field Farmer School(FFS), offer mentorship and coaching programs, and enable llinkages between famers, transporter and traders.
It is worth noting that Rwanda was chosen to host the 2018 the Horticulture Innovation Lab Annual Meeting. This meeting is scheduled on Wednesday 09th May, 2018 and shall bring together the program’s international teams, local horticulture experts and development practitioners under the theme “Engaging Youth as Agricultural Entrepreneurs”
Group Photo @UR-CAVM
Story by Hubert BIZIMANA
Executive Assistant to the Principal