ECHOcommunity Updates

Raising Hogs on Banana Silage in Myanmar 2018-04-12

By: Patrick Trail

Agricultural Staff Member at ECHO Asia

Whether passing through, or invited into the home, it would take a visitor to any number of Myanmar’s Karen communities only a few minutes to realize the importance of agriculture. Small home gardens are common to nearly all households, and may be second only in occurrence to the pig that can be found being raised underneath so many homes. Like many other countries in Southeast Asia, land in Myanmar is as hard to come by as the protein that needs to be produced on it, making hog production a viable and popular source of animal protein.

Being omnivores and efficient consumers of household waste, pigs are well suited for integration into smallholder farming systems where space and resources are limiting factors. But even one or two pigs can become costly to feed and will require, in many cases, expensive purchases of additional off farm feed sources.

For this reason, we seek to provide appropriate options for using on farm resources, encouraging farmers to use what they have, to make what they need. At our most recent Myanmar Seed Saving Workshop, our team was delighted to learn that one of our attendees, a former participant of our first Myanmar training event in 2013, had learned there to make fermented banana stalk silage for hog feed, and has for the last 4 years been promoting its use!

Now a Program Manager for World Vision Myanmar, our friend is working to spread this technology to communities within his reach. One of his ongoing projects, which began with 4 participants, encourages the production of fermented banana stalk silage to supplement any purchased feeds needed for raising hogs. Through their own trial and error (and the creation of their own appropriate silage chopper), he and his partners have found that they can reduce the need for purchased feeds by up to 75% by supplementing with their own farm generated feeds, thus improving production margins tremendously. The program now has 120 participants and is expanding to additional communities!

For more information on the production of fermented banana stalk silage and other farm generated hog feeds, please contact our office, and we will be happy to provide you with additional information. For any successes of your own that you wish to share, please leave a comment!

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Upcoming events

Seed Production and Storage Training, ECHO Latin America-BioNica Partnership
Mon, 16 April 2018 » Fri, 20 April 2018

BioNica Network, Nicaragua

This Seed Training will be held in three locations in Nicaragua Apr 16-20 with participants from the BioNica Network in partnership with ECHO Latin America/Caribbean Regional Impact Team. Participants will engage in discussions and hands-on activities covering a range of topics from crop evaluation to determining the best seeds to save and multiply, seed propagation, storage and banking.  Participants will also have the opportunity to exchange seeds from their own gardens.

Introduction to Permaculture
Mon, 30 April 2018 » Fri, 4 May 2018

ECHO Global Farm, United States of America

Permaculture or Permanent Agriculture is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the diversity, and resilience of natural ecosystems. This deliberate design is based on the ethics of caring for others and creation while cultivating a fair share for everyone. This course will bring a wholistic perspective on agriculture and development centered around a biblical approach on permaculture. Our goal is for you to understand permaculture as an opt...

Cinquieme Forum Francophone Ouest Africain de ECHO
Tue, 8 May 2018 » Thu, 10 May 2018

PACIFIC Hôtel, Burkina Faso

L' ONG ECHO West Africa organise un Forum sur l'agriculture durable à Ouagadougou, au Burkina Faso. Ce forum ECHO vise le renforcement de capacité des personnes qui luttent contre la faim, la pauvreté et de celles qui servent les pauvres en Afrique. Le forum de déroulera pendant trois(03) jours; i l sera animé par des personnes ressources du Burkina Faso de la sous région ouest-africaine. Arrivée :  le 07 Mai 2018 Formation : 08, 09, 10 Mai 2018 Visite de terrain: le 11 Mai 2018

ECHO Asia Myanmar Seed Saving Workshop
Tue, 5 June 2018 » Wed, 6 June 2018

Sustainable Agriculture Training Center - Nyaung Tagar Village, Myanmar

ECHO Asia, in conjunction with the Christian Social Service and Development Department (CSSDD), welcomes anyone working in agriculture and community development to attend a seed saving workshop from June 5-6, 2018 at the Sustainable Agriculture Training Center, Nyaung Tagar Village, Hmawbi Tsp, Yangon Region.  This two-day event will include: hands-on training on seed saving best practices (at NGO and community levels), vegetable grafting, utilization of neglected and underutilized species...

Tropical Agriculture Development: The Basics - July 2018
Mon, 23 July 2018 » Fri, 27 July 2018

ECHO Global Farm, United States of America

Those interested in preparing for short/long-term involvement in agricultural development internationally  are encouraged to participate in this one-week course held two 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, im...