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- Author or Editor: John L Griffis Jr. x
For more than 50 years, the Fulbright Scholar Program has offered U.S. faculty, professionals, teachers, and students the opportunity to conduct research, teach, or study abroad and to make a major contribution to global understanding. The purpose of the program is “...to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries...and thus to assist in the development of friendly, sympathetic, and peaceful relations between the United States and other countries of the world.” There are more than 700 competitive Fulbright awards in more than 120 countries available each year. The majority are for lecturing or combined lecturing/research, although some research-only awards are also available. Eligibility for awards as well as an overview of available opportunities will be discussed. Application procedures and techniques useful in securing awards will also be presented. I received a Fulbright award to lecture in horticulture at Africa Univ. in Zimbabwe during 1997, and will provide a brief summary of my Fulbright experience.
In most highly developed countries, landscaping and ornamental plants are routine components of the urban environment. However, in many Third World countries, this is not the situation outside of the larger cities. Landscaping and ornamentals are associated with hotels, public parks, offices, government buildings, and wealth; they are not significant commodities in rural settings. However, as urban areas in these countries—such as Senegal—expand and modernize, there is an increased demand for ornamental plants. Senegal’s urban population has almost doubled during the past five decades, increasing from 23% in 1960 to 43% in 2013. New jobs and sources of income are available for individuals who are properly trained in ornamental plant production and maintenance. Senegal has several rural training centers where some courses in agronomy and vegetable production are taught, but ornamental plant production is not included in the curriculum. This U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Farmer-to-Farmer project was conducted at one of those rural training centers at Djilor to introduce ornamental horticulture into the curriculum and to make students aware of ornamental plant production practices and the opportunities available to them if they become involved in a horticulture business.
Surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora L.) has value as a minor tropical fruit crop and as an ornamental plant in tropical and subtropical regions. In the United States, Surinam cherry is propagated by seed, as stem cuttings do not root. Elite selections are propagated by grafting, but grafts have not had high rates of success. Micropropagation of Surinam cherry has also been mostly unsuccessful. In this trial, 100 seeds from a self-cross of the cultivar Zill Dark were surface-disinfested and placed in vitro in 150 × 25-mm tubes on a medium of deionized water solidified with 8 g/L of agar. Seed cultures were placed on unlighted shelves. After 3 weeks without lights, seed cultures were transferred to lighted shelves where they readily germinated (100%) over the next 7 to 14 days. Seedlings were strongly tap-rooted and the roots quickly reached the bottoms of the tubes. After the 2 weeks under lights, 2 mL of autoclaved, half-strength liquid McCown's Woody Plant Medium (WPM) were added to each tube, creating a two-phase culture environment. Every 4 weeks, another 2 mL of half-strength WPM liquid medium were added to the cultures. Most seedlings elongated and produced three or more stems nodes with leaves after 10 weeks under lights. After this 10-week growth period, several of the seedlings had also produced adventitious roots at the first, second, and third stem nodes. After an additional 4 weeks in culture, 50% of the seedlings (50) had produced adventitious roots at one or more nodes. Additionally, tip cuttings taken from some of the seedlings that did not initially produce adventitious roots, produced roots at nodes when the stems were inserted directly in WPM medium supplemented with 20 g/L sucrose and various auxins.
Urban horticulture describes economically viable horticultural production activities conducted in a city or suburb. It is a growing segment of horticulture in the United States as well as in developing countries, where the enormous growth of megalopolis is not backed by a simultaneous increase of farmland or agricultural productivity. Today, urban horticulture includes food sovereignty in underprivileged neighborhoods, increased availability of vegetables and fruits in big cities, healthy and diverse diets, improved food safety, low transportation costs, efficient resource use, and the mitigation of environmental impacts of horticultural production such as the emission of greenhouse gases. The workshop “Urban horticulture: From local initiatives to global success stories,” held at the 2018 American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) conference in Washington, DC, featured present and historical success stories of urban horticulture from Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the United States.