General Technical Documents are resources made available through ECHOcommunity.org that are not currently part of an ECHO periodical publication such as ECHO Development Notes or ECHO Technical Notes. These resources may or may not be published by ECHO, but have been made available to the ECHOcommunity as online, sharable resources.
53 Issues in this Publication (Showing 21 - 30)
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Soil infertility is a key constraint to improving crop production for small-scale farmers. Soils throughout Canadian Foodgrains Bank members’ program areas are degraded and deficient in nutrients and organic matter. Soil testing measures the soil’s health and nutrient holding capacity and provides a measure of nutrient status and health. It also serves as a basis for crop and land management decisions. Soil testing has been advocated by technical specialists, government extension agents and through radio messaging. As a result, there is a growing demand from farmers and project partners for information on soil testing strategies and services. Farmers want specific guidance on which fertility inputs are best for their fields, and how much they should apply.
Given the wide range of available soil testing options, it is important to identify which tests are most useful for a given project, and for what reason. Some tests are helpful in developing recommendations for how farmers manage crops. Other tests may not help with crop management decisions, but are useful in training farmers to think about soil health. Still others are helpful in monitoring and evaluation of the effects of a project on soil nutrients and soil health. This guide is designed to help farmers and partners decide what soil tests are most important and cost-effective for their context.
The introduction of Fall Armyworm (FAW) (Spodoptera frugiperda) to Africa in 2016 has raised concerns of possible widespread damage of maize and other crops. Stalk borers are a common pest of maize throughout Africa, causing modest damage virtually every year. Armyworms, on the other hand, can devastate maize and other crops if not controlled at a young age. Because of this big difference in damage potential, it is important to identify these pests early in their life cycle.
This is an ACTION PLAN based on participation of representatives from three East Africa countries in the L2M Working Group. The group developed a common framework to guide their discussion and understanding of all the elements that influence the development of a Livestock to Markets Business among pastoralist communities. They will use this as a benchmark for their commitment and actions in their respective countries over the next two years.
This worksheet was used at the 3rd ECHO East Africa Pastoralist Symposium by a group generating a joint voluntary plan of action including policy and legislation inhibiting or needed, social and cultural approaches that inhibit or could add value, economic tools, and natural resources governance.
I have spent over fifty years working in East African Rangelands studying wildlife in National Parks and ranches or helping pastoralists in northern Kenya and consulting in Tanzania. The situation has changed unpredictably and dramatically since my original research in the Queen Elizabeth National Park in western Uganda. The main change has been rapid and near exponential human population growth with accompanying degradation of the rangelands especially those classified as ASALs (Arid or Semi-Arid Lands). It is not unique to the Greater Horn of Africa, but an example of what has been happening in most countries in Sahelian Africa. A world’s leading expert on deserts concluded over 25 years ago that “all the areas between the 100mm and 300mm isohyets will become man-made deserts in the next 35-70 years if the present trend is not reversed!” (Le Houerou,1991). Further exacerbating the effects of unchecked population growth is that of global warming, where pastoralists are the victims of the rapid increase in the use of fossil fuels by the world’s increased human population.
PermacultureForRefugees (P4R) has released their first booklet in a series to bring permaculture solutions to refugee situations. Permaculture for Refugees in Camps is a 20 page how-to guide outlining a positive approaches to transforming refugee camps. It is the culmination of ideas, experience and knowledge based on discussion, writings, research and the shared experience of the founding members of the P4R working group, edited by Ruth Harvey and Rowe Morrow.
The booklet reframes the period of limbo in camps of enforced idleness and desperation to a time of learning and building relationships to land and each other. Working from ethics, it introduces eco-design methods, and presents principles and strategies for empowering disenfranchised communities and giving them permaculture skills and knowledge to take into the next stage whatever it may be.
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 methods used by villagers for saving their own seeds. All have their strengths and weaknesses, but when balancing costs and resources, which methods are really the most effective? This article highlights research conducted by ECHO Asia regarding the use of vacuum sealing, using a simple bicycle tire pump, for tropical seed storage under resource-constrained settings.
The three key factors that determine the rate of seed deterioration in storage are: oxygen pressure (amount of oxygen with the seeds in storage), seed moisture content, and temperature (Roberts, 1973). An increase in any of these factors will lower the storage life of the seeds, and as a general rule any increase of 1% moisture content or 10° F (5.6° C) in storage will halve the storage life of the seeds (Bewley and Black, 1985). Each factor contributes to seed decay in specific ways, and minimizing these conditions is critical to effective seed storage. Vacuum sealing is a relatively low-cost method that requires few inputs after an initial investment. Sealing helps conserve seed quality by minimizing oxygen presence and exposure to ambient humidity, thereby keeping seed moisture content low.
ABSTRACT: Environmental Science & Technology, 2017
The purpose of this work is to determine parameters for the design of a Moringa seed sand filter for water purification. Moringa oleifera seeds containing cationic antimicrobial proteins have been used as natural coagulants for the removal of turbidity; however, a low removal efficiency and high residual organic levels limit their applications. In this work, Moringa seed extracts were used to reverse the charge of sand ( fsand) to 10 mV at a seed dosage of 5.6 g of seeds/m2 of sand. This f-sand filter demonstrated ∼4 log removal of 1 μm polystyrene particles and >8 log removal of Escherichia coli compared to <0.1 log removal for bare sand. Enhanced removal for particles and E. coli was dominated by attractive electrostatic interactions. Clean bed filtration modeling predicts a sticking coefficient (α) of 0.8 for f-sand compared to a value of 0.01 for bare sand. This α was further validated under a wide range of filtration conditions. Preliminary scale-up analyses suggest a point-of-use f-sand filter that requires a very small amount of seeds annually. The outcome of this work presents the scientific basis for the design of a water purification solution for developing regions, requiring only locally available resources and no use of synthetic chemicals or electricity.
ECHO reguguarly keeps track of crop porduction records especially for crops disseminated from our Global Seed Bank. This fillable form is the sheet ECHO staff (mainly interns) use when evaluating a crop for it's potential use and distribution to ECHO's Network. This form can also be used to monitor and evaluate new crops or regenerated crops. This form was made specifically for ECHO's use, so it may need adapted and reconfigured in order to best suit your needs and your capacity.