IPO News

Giverson Mupambi standing in a bog

IEW Spotlight: 'Improving Fruit Quality in Cranberries'

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Giverson Mupambi wants to give America a better cranberry. Mupambi, an extension assistant professor specializing in cranberry physiology, is one of several experts working at the UMass Cranberry Station in East Wareham, MA. The station, a part of the UMASS Amherst Campus, is an outreach and research center charged with the mission of maintaining and enhancing the economic viability of the Massachusetts Cranberry Industry through research and outreach.

The station is staffed by Mupambi, and a team including a plant pathologist, plant physiologist, weed scientist, and an entomologist. The team works closely with the Massachusetts Cranberry Industry to produce more sustainable, better-tasting cranberries. Mupambi says the connection with the cranberry industry is inspiring.“We all have the same goal: to address any challenges the cranberry growers in Massachusetts have,” he says, adding that his research is designed to offer the average consumer “a better product, produced in a more environmentally friendly way, using less water for irrigation, and less fertilizers.”

Mupambi grew up in Zimbabwe, and comes to UMass from South Africa via Washington State. There, he most recently worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Washington State University, researching deciduous fruit: apples, cherries, pears, and peaches. When the opportunity to work at the UMass Cranberry Station presented itself, he leaped at the chance. “It was a very different kind of horticultural system {from what I had been studying},” he says. “It’s challenging to work with a small fruit like a cranberry.”

Perhaps we can all enjoy the benefits of Mupambi’s work when we have a bowl of cranberry relish this Thanksgiving. 

Find out more about the Cranberry Station on their website.