ECHOcommunity Updates

Vacuum-Sealing Options for Storing Seeds 2019-01-15

Technologies for Small-Scale Seed Banks

Quality seed is crucial for initiatives aimed at preserving or increasing crop diversity. Whether seeds are purchased or grown out and collected in the field, they typically need to be stored until conditions are right for planting. How those seeds are stored affects how many will germinate and grow when planted.

Seed survival during storage depends on seed moisture content, air temperature, and oxygen levels. Increases in these factors causes seeds to metabolize their food reserves more quickly, shortening storage life. Seed moisture content is influenced by the humidity of the air in the storage space or container. Hot, humid conditions lead to rotting of seeds. For these reasons, being able to improve seed storage conditions is highly beneficial to farmers and development practitioners, particularly those working in the humid tropics.

Vacuum sealing seeds is an effective way to extend their viability, for two main reasons. First, maintaining seeds under a vacuum keeps humidity out of the storage container, which is very important in areas where humidity is high during at least part of the year (e.g. during rainy season).

This new ECHO Techinical Note presents ways to remove air from seed containers, for the purpose of extending the viability of stored seeds. The technologies presented here are most relevant to community-level seed banks or development practitioners looking for options for storing small volumes of high-value seed for planting. They would not be practical for storing large quantities of grain for human or animal consumption. With the exception of commercial vacuum sealers, the technologies presented are inexpensive, and many can be constructed with local materials.

Read ECHO Tech Note #93

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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.   View a list of ECHOcommunity.org features here.

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Upcoming events

Forum National de ECHO sur l’Agriculture durable au TOGO
Tue, 29 January 2019 » Thu, 31 January 2019

Centre Chrétien Latekana, Togo

5th ECHO East Africa Symposium on Sustainable Agriculture and Appropriate Technologies
Tue, 12 February 2019 » Thu, 14 February 2019

Naura Springs Hotel - Arusha, Tanzania

Invitation to ECHO East Africa  Symposium 12th - 14th  February 2019 Greetings! You are cordially invited to join us for the ECHO East Africa Symposium 2019. We hope that you will make time to gather with us at this very important and effective meeting. It will be a valuable time of learning, information sharing and networking for those working and serving in the East Africa Region Highlights The ECHO Symposium will provide a network and training opportunity for those involved in ...

Tropical Agriculture Development 101
Mon, 18 February 2019 » Fri, 22 February 2019

ECHO Global Farm, United States

This course will dive into the agricultural systems that are used on small tropical farms. Learn how to utilize perennial crops to your advantage! This course will give hands on experience to those who are interested in kick starting a small tropical farm system. Each subject taught will be given ample time to understand and interact with the material This interactive and practical course will span one week, covering: Agroforestry Underutilized Tropical Crops Fruit Tree Managemen...

Training seminar in Natural Medicine 2019
Sun, 7 April 2019 » Sun, 14 April 2019

Songea Teachers Training College (TTC Songea ), TANZANIA

The training will be more in practical how to help people living with hiv/aids, also people with albinism.  The contribution of  nutrition in treatment in many diseases. During the seminar our philosophy will be your food should be your medicine and your medicine should be your food. anamed (Action for Natural Medicine, see www.anamed-edition.com) in Germany invites development  workers, missionaries, doctors, nurses, scientists etc. to attend our training seminar in Natural Medicine, a...

Permaculture Design Certification
Sun, 14 April 2019 » Sun, 28 April 2019

Rancho Mastatal, Costa Rica

Join our diverse team of permaculture instructors led by Scott Gallant 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 temperate and tropical regions.  Putting Permaculture into practice, the course concludes w...

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