1. 2019-08-30



  2. 2018-05-15



  3. 2018-05-15



  4. 2019-02-15 This article is from ECHO Asia Note # 37. Seed saving in sub-tropical and tropical climates is challenging. Without equipment designed to maintain dry and cool environments, the quality of seeds may quickly deteriorate. High temperature and humidity during storage increase seed metabolism and...



  5. 2019-02-15 This article is from ECHO Asia Note # 37. With deep gratitude, I wish to thank you all ECHO network members for continuous support of and participation in this ECHO Asia Notes published quarterly. Without your valuable participation, this newsletter would not sustain its wide readership and...



  6. 2019-02-15 This article is from ECHO Asia Note # 37. One of the great challenges of sustainable agriculture is the sourcing of adequate and affordable organic (carbon based) resources that can be used on-farm for the production of food and feed. Utilizing composts, manures, mulches, and other organic inputs...



  7. 2018-10-31 This article is from ECHO Asia Note # 36. Soil chemical, physical, and biological properties range from those highly favorable to plant growth to those highly unfavorable to plant growth. It is rare—especially in the tropics—to find a soil in its natural state in which all properties are highly...





  8. 2018-05-15 This article is from ECHO Asia Note # 35. Dr. Michael Shafer is a retired Professor of Political Science from Rutgers University in the USA who founded the Warm Heart Foundation in 2008. After first learning about biochar at an ECHO conference in 2013, Warm Heart began to design and test improved...





  9. 2018-05-15 This article is from ECHO Asia Note # 35. One of the best things that you can do to complete your sustainable farm or garden is to balance it with a small livestock unit. Livestock integration is fundamental #10 in my book Sustainable Agriculture in the Tropics. If you read ECHO Asia Notes,...





  10. This article is from ECHO Asia Note # 33. Summary Mushrooms such as oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) are usually grown in plastic bags filled with organic material that may include organic farm wastes. That material must be sterilized (heated to temperatures above 100C) or pasteurized...





  11. This article is from ECHO Asia Note # 33. I read David Price’s concerns about promoting invasive forage plants in Asia Note #25 [Eds’ Note: AN #25 was written in response to AN #23] and would like to respond based on my own experience and observations. My reply will be based on the following...





  12. 2017-08-15 This article is from ECHO Asia Note # 32. In many developing world households, meeting the daily energy needs required for cooking is burdensome and costly. Fortunately, low-cost cooking methods that require less fuel while burning more cleanly and efficiently are becoming available at the...





  13. 2017-08-15 This article is from ECHO Asia Note # 32. Dr. Tapani Haapala Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) contain high-quality food properties and are very good protein and energy sources on a daily per hectare basis of production (Frusciante et al. 2000). Potatoes are grown mostly in cool climate areas. In the...





  14. This article is from ECHO Asia Note # 31. Saving your own seeds can be a cost-effective way to access crop seed for future planting and to help maintain the planet’s plant biodiversity. Whether you plant your own saved seeds, give them away to friends and neighbors, or distribute them through...





  15. This article is from ECHO Asia Note # 31. The amazing multi-stomached ruminant comes in many forms, with varied nutritional requirements. Ruminants are even-toed, cloven-hoofed, four-legged, cud-chewing mammals of the suborder Ruminantia (within order Artiodactyla). Cattle, water buffalo, goats,...





  16. 2017-02-15 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #30 Editor’s Note: Peter is a freelance consultant based in Chiang Mai, Thailand, with a M.Sc. in Agriculture from Leipzig, Germany. Peter is a former researcher in “The Uplands Program,” a collaborative research program between Hohenheim University (Germany),...





  17. 2017-02-15 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #30 The word permaculture is mentioned with increasing frequency in speeches, books and magazine articles on sustainability and food security. What is permaculture? Is it a movement? A philosophy? Simply a set of design tools? In this article, I answer the...





  18. 2016-10-15 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #29 Processing methods for coffee can drastically change the quality and taste of the final product, for better or for worse. By choosing a method that positively impacts quality, flavor, and cost, a coffee producer can optimize the coffee’s potential, at the...





  19. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #29 The old adage ‘You can’t fix a problem if you don’t know you have one’ underpins the basic science of diagnosing plant nutrient deficiencies. For years, farmers and scientists have worked together to identify a set of visual clues that can be used to...





  20. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #28 Farm-generated fertility contributes to a more sustainable agricultural system. Crop residues and manures are part of the nutrient cycle for plant production and can lower input costs through the use of thermophilic composting, vermiculture, bokashi...





  21. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #28 For both farmers and researchers in the tropics, seed saving can be very frustrating. In Mondulkiri province, farmers are rarely able to keep seed for more than the six months between harvest and the new planting season. Seeds stored longer than this tend...





  22. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #27 When planning to construct a “Cold Room” or “Seed Storage Room” for the purpose of preserving seed viability, one must first consider principles for optimum seed storage. InECHO Asia Note 14(July 2012), we shared results from our comparison of vacuum...





  23. 2015-12-15 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #27 Microorganisms are defined as any living things too small for the eye to see; they include fungi, algae, and bacteria (Rao, 1995). These small organisms can be found everywhere: in water, air, and in the soil. On a farm, microorganism numbers are especially...





  24. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #26 Mr. Bunlom Taokaew is the son of rice farmers. He chose a career as a businessman after he finished school. Because he didn’t make enough of a living, he went into debt to the order of hundreds of thousands of baht. He borrowed money from his father, a...





  25. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #26 This series of articles on water management has been reprinted with permission from Thailand’s Natural Farming Magazine and serves as an introduction to small-scale water management. Many of the ideas offered in these articles are consistent with...





  26. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #26 At the beginning of last year, Thailand experienced its most severe drought in twenty years. Only four years ago it also experienced its most severe flooding. Natural disasters are occurring with increasing frequency and severity; it is therefore vital to...





  27. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #26 ECHO Asia Impact Center staff members first heard about alternative herbicide recipes that use fermented papaya and pineapple from a retired technical school teacher and organic farmer, Kru Pratoom. As weeding is a big part of any farmer’s life, the Seed...





  28. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #25 Invasive alien species (often IAS in the literature) are those species introduced to an area outside their normal or native range, either purposefully or by accident, whose colonization causes significant harm. The species may become weeds, pests or...





  29. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #25 As densities of livestock increase, an industrious farmer finds ways and means to increase his farm’s nutrient stream for the benefit of his system. This article will describe methods and techniques necessary for a smallholder farmer to succeed with...





  30. 2015-06-15 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #24 Tricho-compost is the material that results when spores of a beneficial fungus, Trichoderma sp. are used in the composting process. Trichoderma sp. are natural competitors against a wide range of harmful fungi; when it is added to compost, the latter can...





  31. 2015-06-15 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #24 Increased awareness of the potential of neem tree by creating awareness of its potential would go a long way in promoting its acceptance for pest management and improvement of plant health, animal health, human health, and environmental health.





  32. 2015-02-15 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #23 In its simplest definition a forage is any plant material grazed or fed to livestock. However, a more specific definition that’s presented in this article focuses on plants (grasses and legumes) that are planted specifically to provide superior feed...





  33. 2015-02-15 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #23 In Malaysia, agriculture is practised by a range of farmers – from subsistence cultivators of the soil to sophisticated, commercially-driven entrepreneurs. The latter group are quite adept at assessing the latest in technology and varieties, and already...





  34. 2014-10-15 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #22 Today, if someone were to ask me to help build a small system on their urban rental property, would I use cement rings? The easy answer is yes, but....





  35. 2014-10-15 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #22 Currently, we have two 16 x 1 meter floating raft troughs, and one 16 x 1 meter rock bed that are connected to six 1 cubic meter fish tanks by PVC piping (elements 1 and 2 above). We also have three smaller stand-alone aquaponics units that we use as...





  36. 2014-06-14 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #21 This article contains diagrams of the SRI RollingMarker, Rotary Weeder, and Grass Cutter discussed in other articles from Echo Asia Note 21.





  37. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #21 SRI was first tried by farmers in Thailand over ten years ago. However, many farmers struggled to avoid trauma to the seedlings and to transplant young seedlings using human labor. Additionally, trying to draw lines (for even spacing of the transplants) was...





  38. 2014-06-14 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #21 The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is a promising rice-farming methodology that is able both to lower production costs—of seed, fertilizer, chemicals, and water—and to increase yield by enabling each rice plant to reach its full potential. However,...





  39. 2014-06-14 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #21 Wanpen’s roller planting marker was developed from her experience. When a problem occurred, she would alter and develop the tool according to the problem and rice variety. Wanpen’s tool was designed to be lightweight, easy to handle and convenient to use....





  40. 2014-06-14 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #21 It was an afternoon of 2002 when I first read about SRI. As an extension officer in the District Agriculture Development Office (DADO), I started promoting SRI in the following years in the district of Morang, Nepal. Over this time I observed hundreds of...





  41. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #20 In nature, dozens of species of harmful fungi can quickly kill a plant, including Fusarium spp., the causal agents of Fusarium wilt, and Phakospora pachyrhizi, the causal agent of soybean rust. Fungi are unable to produce nutrients on their own, so they...





  42. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #20 Farm-generated fertility makes agriculture more sustainable. Crop residues and manures are part of the nutrient cycle and can lower input costs through the use of thermophilic composting, vermiculture, bokashi production, or green manures. Farm-generated...





  43. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #19 In a tropical setting, growing seedlings can be a difficult task. A major factor of concern for nursery production is water-logging (Zhu, 2007). During the rainy season, oversaturated soils can effectively suffocate root systems of a seedling by restricting...





  44. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #19 It iscompletely possible to run a diesel engine on biogas; however, a number of considerations must be taken into account before it may be considered a serious option in a development program. This article will explore some key considerations when...





  45. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #18 As the new director of the ECHO Asia Impact Center, I would like to take this opportunity to greet all of you, our network members. I would also like to thank you for being part of our network, which continues to span the globe and which exists as an...



  46. 2013-09-15 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #18 We are pleased to offer three new types of seeds (Cosmos, African Marigold, and Zinnia) at the ECHO Asia Seed Bank, none of which have been offered to our member network before. You will notice that these are not our “typical” ECHO seeds, because they are...





  47. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #18 “Participatory methods” in community development initially emerged in the 1970s, and interest in their use has continued to increase among practitioners, especially in recent years.1 Many practitioners agree that this growing acceptance is a good thing, as...





  48. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #17 Contamination of drinking water sources by harmful synthetic organic compounds (SOCs), such as pesticides, is a major worldwide problem. Pesticide pollution appears twice in the top ten of The World’s Worst Toxic Pollution Problems Report 2011 by the...





  49. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #17 Around the world, many agriculturists and gardeners are adopting soil amendments and fertilizers that are called bokashi. Bokashi is a Japanese word that has no good translation into English, according to Yukiko Oyanagi, a staffer with the Asian Rural...





  50. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #16 During the 2012 ECHO Agriculture Workshop in Yangon, 63 attendees representing at least 25 agriculture and community development organizations from across Myanmar were polled about their observations and opinions related to climate change. The vast majority...





  51. 2013-03-20 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #16 Since 2011, ECHO Asia has developed and facilitated seed exchange events during meetings with local partners. Through conversations with farmers and NGO staff, we have gained better insight about locally-important plant varieties, seed saving practices,...





  52. 2012-10-01 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #15 Soil quality, also known as soil health, is the capacity of the soil to function – how well it fills the roles we need it to, whether in a natural or managed ecosystem. There are a variety of measures used to gauge soil health and although we can use these...





  53. 2012-10-01 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #15 Editor: Between 1997 and 2009, Kirby Rogers worked as part of a team to establish an agriculture-based business called Natural Products (NPI) in Bokeo, Laos. Much of this effort involved promoting soybean as a local cash crop as well as developing related...





  54. 2012-07-01 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #14 Introduction Storing seeds in the tropics can often be difficult; with high temperatures and humid conditions, seeds lose their ability to germinate quickly. Many techniques for seed storage exist, from the high-tech standards of gene banks to simple...





  55. 2012-07-01 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #14 Editor: Dr. Dick Tinsley is an Emeritus Professor with Colorado State University. With decades of experience as an advisor to smallholder agriculture development projects, he was worked in numerous locations across Asia and Africa. In this article, Dr....





  56. 2012-04-01 This article is found in ECHO Asia Note #13 The cool, dry season offers the best window for vegetable production in the tropics, assuming an adequate water supply. Pest and disease pressures are relatively low and temperatures are moderate. By contrast, the rainy season brings a combination of...





  57. 2012-04-01 This article is found in ECHO Asia Note #13 Introduction In many parts of tropical Asia, especially on rainfed farms, there has been an explosion of acreage planted in maize. The increase in commercial maize production is driven by growing livestock feed demand, and is displacing many traditional...





  58. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #12 In 2010 the ECHO Asia Impact C enter, along with lead partner, Pennsylvania State University, and Maejo University, was awarded a CRSP Horticulture Exploratory Project grant with major support from USAID. Entitled, "Strengthening Indigenous Informal Seed...





  59. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #12 Introduction When you come across an especially promising local variety of a crop grown in your area, how can you enable other farmers to try out this variety? If a farmer gives you 30 seeds of an exceptional variety, how might you go about distributing...





  60. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #11 Editor: Abram serves as the Coordinator of SustainabilityResearch and as an Instructor with the InternationalSustainable Development Studies Institute in Chiang Mai. He also assists the ECHO Asia Impact Center as a technicaladvisor. Introduction and...





  61. 2011-07-01 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #10 Introduction During the late rainy season, the permanent hill fields that surround a cluster of hilltribe villages in the Chiang Dao district of northern Thailand radiate various hues of green. These verdant fields, belonging to ethnic Lisu, Lahu, Akha,...





  62. 2011-04-01 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #9 Rick Burnette wrote an article for Issue 6 (July 2010) of ECHO Asia Notes, titled "Charcoal Production in 200-Liter Horizontal Drum Kilns." My article takes the charring process a step further by exploring the rapidly re-emerging world of biochar. Biochar is...





  63. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #9 Editor: The System of Rice Intensification (SRI), an unconventional approach to rice production that has spread throughout many parts of the world since the late 1990s, is comprised of a set of flexible management practices. CEDAC, based in Cambodia,...





  64. 2011-01-01 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #8 Introduction The genus Zanthoxylum (familyRutaceae) contains a fascinatinggroup of plants found around theworld from the tropics to temperatezones. With over 200 species,ranging from small shrubs to largetrees, Zanthoxylum spp. arecharacterized by sharp...





  65. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #8 Editor: Abram serves as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow andInstructor with the International Sustainable DevelopmentStudies Institute in Chiang Mai. He also assists the ECHO AsiaRegional Office as a technical advisor. Introduction and Background Saving your...





  66. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #7 Prakrit Khamduangdao was looking for an alternative to agriculturalchemicals to control pests in his vegetable farm. However, he was notcompletely satisfied with various botanical pest control measures beingpromoted in northern Thailand. He reports that even...





  67. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #7 Editor: Due to the length of this article, only a portion isincluded in ECHO Asia Notes. The full article, includingillustrated steps related to the assembly of 200- liter drumkilns as well as charcoal and wood vinegar production, canbe accessed via the web...





  68. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #6 One of the easiest and most effective ways to improve and build soilfertility in any gardening situation is to use a method known as sheetmulching. Thick layers of mulch are placed directly on the soil,simulating the thick leaf litter and humus found in...





  69. 2010-07-01 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #6 The arrival of a new crop No one seems to know whymembers of the Lisuhilltribe in northernThailand refer to a certain field crop with brilliantyellow flowers as Japanesesesame. The seeds of thiscrop yield quality cooking oil, but the plant looksnothing like...



  70. 2010-07-01 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #6 The ECHO Asia Regional Office regularly receives inquiries concerning sources of crop seeds and seedlings. While pleased to assist regional partners in locating plant materials, we would also like to recommend the WORLD LIST of SEED SOURCES, a free on-line...





  71. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #5 Communicating technical information among different language groups is challenging. For example, despite being familiar with the scientific, English and Tagalog common names for eggplant, how might an Asian development worker know what the Indonesians call...





  72. 2010-04-01 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #5 Across Asia, small institutions such as children's homes play an essentialrole in caring for orphans and other young people at risk. Likewise, hostels (i.e., boarding facilities) provide disadvantaged students with safe places tostay in order to further...





  73. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #4 Working together with Thai Care, the children's ministry of the Rain Tree Foundation, Meribah Ram Pump is engaged in various community development projects in northern Thailand. A major focus is to make simple, sustainable technology, such as ram pumps and...





  74. 2010-01-01 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #4 Does rice straw have any value? Looking at the practices of most farmers, it seems not! The burning of rice straw is a common sight during the harvest period in many parts of Asia. Yet a number of farmers think otherwise. One of them is Isidro Prado from...





  75. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #3 Rugged northeastern Myanmar is home to the Lahu, Shan, Akha, Palaung and various other ethnic groups. With few paved roads and only a small percentage of the Shan State's population connected to the electrical grid, infrastructure serving the locals is still...





  76. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #3 Crotalaria juncea, or sunn hemp, is a member of the pea family (Fabaceae) grown in many countries as a green manure or forage crop. Originating in South Asia, but with a common cultivar developed in Hawaii, it is a fastgrowing, drought-tolerant and...





  77. 2009-07-01 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #2 In a 2001 ECHO Development Notes article, “SRI, the System of Rice Intensification: Less can be more,” ECHO first reported on SRI’s radical rice production steps including: Transplanting rice seedlings when the first two leaves have emerged, usually sometime...





  78. This article is from ECHO Asia Note #2 With regard to SRI, the previously mentioned "SRI Homepage/System of Rice Intensification", a joint collaboration of Association Tefy Saina and CIIFAD, offers a wealth of SRI-related material, particularly on its "SRI Practical and AV Material" page . The...





  79. 2009-04-01 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #1 When ripe, the yellow and apricot-colored fruit of the marian plum (Bouea macrophylla Griff.) seem to glow among the tree's glossy green leaves. The ripe fruit of marian plum offers an edible, crisp skin and juicy flesh. Besides being eaten raw as a dessert...





  80. 2009-04-01 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #1 What is the outlook for world food prices? In the immediate future (the next few months), some moderation in global food prices seems likely in response to very recent (since mid-2008) declines in world grain and energy prices. In the short-term (next 2 to 3...





  81. 2009-04-01 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #1 Based on the experiences of CRWRC and its collaborating partnering organizations in East Africa, the introduction of grain and vegetable amaranths shows real potential for the highlands of Southeast Asia. Grain amaranth should be seen and managed as a high...