1. 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,...





  2. 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...





  3. 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...





  4. 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...





  5. 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...





  6. 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...





  7. 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,...





  8. 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...





  9. 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...





  10. 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),...





  11. 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...





  12. 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...





  13. 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...





  14. 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...





  15. 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...





  16. 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...





  17. 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...





  18. 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...





  19. 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...





  20. 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...





  21. 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...





  22. 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.





  23. 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...





  24. 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...





  25. 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...





  26. 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...





  27. 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....





  28. 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....





  29. 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...





  30. 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.





  31. 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,...





  32. 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...





  33. 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...





  34. 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...





  35. 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...





  36. 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...





  37. 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...





  38. 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...





  39. 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,...





  40. 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...





  41. 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...





  42. 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...





  43. 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....





  44. 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...





  45. 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...
  46. 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...





  47. 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...





  48. 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...