ECHOcommunity Updates

The Power of Knowledge and Networking 2017-03-29

Abram (the Director of the ECHO Asia Impact Center) was recently in Lusaka, Zambia, as part of the USAID-funded and University of Illinois managed “Integrating Nutrition and Gender into Agricultural Extension Services” (INGENAES) project. INGENAES is borne out of the Modernizing Extension and Advisory Services (MEAS) project, which helped to re-invigorate global agricultural extension discussion and practice, especially for smallholder farmers in the developing world. ECHO worked closely with MEAS and has gleaned information and best practices from it and INGENAES.

Saikou's backyard chicken project. Image Courtesy: Saikou Njai

While at the gathering of 170 global participants working in agricultural and extension services, Abram met Saikou, who is from the Gambia and works as a Peace Corps volunteer coordinator and advisor for the Gambia. Saikou attended an ECHO Florida TAD 1 training back in 2014 to gain more knowledge about Tropical Agriculture Development. What he gained from the training was a wealth of options that he could help Peace Corps volunteers implement in the Gambia to improve smallholder farming households’ lives and food security. Upon returning to the Gambia, he began rolling out backyard chicken projects that employ local breeds and low-input feeds for sustainability. He has seen much success with the projects and communities are sharing the approach with each other and adoption is increasing. He credits ECHO, and in particular, the TAD 1 class, as being the inspiration, catalyst, and knowledge piece that makes the project successful.

It is amazing to see the scope of the ECHO-effect around the world!  That the Director of ECHO Asia based in Chiang Mai, Thailand, would find a success story from the Gambia while in Zambia is a testament to the power of networking and practical innovative knowledge that ECHO shares with its partners

About ECHOcommunity

ECHOcommunity is a membership community that provides access to nearly all of ECHO’s resources online, as well as communications tools to help development workers connect with each other.

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Upcoming events

Permaculture Design Certification Course
Tue, 25 April 2017 » Mon, 8 May 2017

Rancho Mastatal Sustainability Education Center, Costa Rica

Join Ranco Mastatal's diverse team of permaculture instructors Scott Gallant, Mitch Haddad, Santiago Miranda, Rachel Jackson, Sam Kenworthy, and Laura Killingbeck for this annual life-changing 2-week experience. The course covers the core Permaculture Design curriculum and emphasizes creating diverse multi-functional human landscapes based on ecological patterns. Utilizing Rancho Mastatal as a living classroom, the class will mix lectures and hands-on work, exploring design solutions for both...

Seed Saving: A Practical Overview for Small-scale Seed Banking
Mon, 8 May 2017 » Fri, 12 May 2017

ECHO Global Farm, USA

ECHO offers over 350 varieties in its Florida seed bank requiring diverse approaches to growing, processing, and storing seeds. This five-day course will begin in ECHO’s seed production plots to help participants better understand how crops are managed and harvested. Techniques related to both wet and dry processing of seeds will be practiced, as well as, essential tasks such as germination testing. Long-term seed storage approaches including vacuum sealing and cold storage will be explored, ...

ECHO Asia Nepal Agriculture and Community Development Workshop
Mon, 22 May 2017 » Wed, 24 May 2017

Annandaban Training Facility, Nepal

Tropical Agricultural Development I: The Basics
Mon, 24 July 2017 » Fri, 28 July 2017

ECHO Campus, United States

Those interested in preparing for short/long-term involvement in agricultural development internationally  are encouraged to participate in this one-week course held four times a year. Course participants will gain an introduction to aspects of poverty and community development and an orientation to ECHO. They will also receive instruction on proven agricultural principles/practices and practical techniques, systems and technologies to meet agricultural and nutritional needs of small-scale, i...

Introduction to Community Development
Mon, 14 August 2017 » Fri, 18 August 2017

ECHO Campus, United States

As a development worker or  missionary, where do you start? How might you ensure that development efforts will be relevant, realistic, and community-owned? This five-day course will cover the basics of effective community development. Using proven participatory methods, experienced community development workers will introduce attendees to basic tools that can enable development workers and focus communities to survey local assets and needs- utilizing feedback, participants will practice prior...

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