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Beginning September 2012, U.S. graduate students will travel to Feed the Future focus countries to work on projects led by in-country organizations to support smallholder farmers growing fruits and vegetables, thanks to 14 newly funded projects from the Horticulture Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP) at the University of California, Davis

The students are participating in the Horticulture CRSP Trellis Fund, which matches students pursuing advanced agricultural degrees with organizations that are engaged with local farmers. Funding is provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

“The Horticulture CRSP Trellis Fund is really building capacity at both ends,” said Amanda Crump, Horticulture CRSP associate director. “We hope that this experience opens students’ eyes to the reality of food security issues internationally as they continue their agricultural careers. And we believe these projects support the organizations’ capability to conduct research and build trust with university representatives, who can provide unbiased, up-to-date scientific information.”

In the first round of Trellis Fund projects completed earlier this year, 10 UC Davis students supported projects throughout the developing world with a combined 124 training meetings, 1,935 farmer participants and 10 demonstration plots.