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Popular series of 55 books on small-scale sustainable agriculture, published by the Agromisa Knowledge Centre for Small Scale Sustainable Agriculture, based in Wageningen in the Netherlands. Agromisa is linked to Wageningen University and Research Centre, one of the world's leading research institutes on tropical agriculture. Agromisa operated a worldwide online Question-and-Answer Service on small-scale sustainable agriculture and rural development issues, working with Wageningen University and Research Centre staff members and graduates and a network of organisations with expertise in specific fields, free-of-charge to individuals and intermediate organisations in developing countries. The Agromisa office was closed in September, 2021.


55 Issues in this Publication (Showing issues 320 - 275) |

Agrodok 031, Storage of Agricultural Products - 1995-01-01

This booklet discusses how agricultural products are harvested and stored by farmers. In most cases, the products are stored without further handling for a shorter or longer period. Unfortunately losses of 25 percent for stored grain crops and 40-50 percent for vegetables are not unusual in the tropics. For the farmers, these products fulfil various needs. 

Version 2, 2011

Agrodok 032, Beekeeping in the Tropics - 1988-01-01

You can keep bees as an interesting hobby or as a source of income. This booklet provides you with information on how to work with honey bees. In most regions of the world this will be the European bee Apis mellifera, although in large parts of (sub)tropical Asia the rather similar species Apis cerana is more commonplace. Although the composition of a honey bee colony is basically the same all over the world, the management of bees must be adapted to the species and race, the climate and the vegetation. If you want to start keeping bees it is advisable to start with the existing regional methods. Finer skills of this occupation can only be learnt from experience, step-by-step.

Try to obtain information and assistance from a beekeeper nearby. You could also approach your Ministry of Agriculture or Forestry, which often has a Department of Apiculture that organises demonstrations and courses, offers assistance and sometimes even provides bee colonies. The importance of starting at local level and to experience the profits beekeeping might offer is stressed in this booklet. Low-input techniques, implying the use of local bee races as well as local knowledge and local materials, can be the basis of successful beekeeping for individuals and for large projects.

Version 6, 2005

Agrodok 033, Duck Keeping in the Tropics - 1999-01-01

This Agrodok covers a number of subjects which arise if you yourself, or people you work with, are considering keeping ducks. The aim is to give practical advice on small-scale duck keeping for those who work directly with small-scale farmers. A theoretical background is given in order that users of this book are able to develop the most suitable practices for their particular situation.

Version 2, 2004 

Agrodok 034, Improving Hatching and Brooding in Small-Scale Poultry Keeping - 1985-01-01

Poultry plays an important role in most developing countries, as it contributes to the livelihood of rural smallholder farmers who keep village chickens.

General information on chicken farming is discussed in many booklets on the subject, like Agrodok No. 4: small-scale chicken production. This booklet focuses on upgrading hatching and brooding practices in the free-range poultry flock in order to:

  • Achieve an optimal number of chickens.
  • Implement regular flock replacement.
  • Successfully raise the young chicks through their first 8 weeks of life.

Version 6, 2011

Agrodok 035, Donkeys for Transport and Tillage - 2002-01-01

Although the donkey is indigenous to the Northeast part of Africa, its use on the continent as a whole is limited. The donkey is probably most appreciated in its true home, in arid and mountainous areas, where it is used most extensively. It is widely acknowledged that these animals can play a major role in rural development.

The steady speed of a donkey’s walk is what makes it so popular as a pack animal or for pulling small carts. When properly harnessed and hitched, it is also fairly fast at ploughing. The intelligence of a donkey is often underestimated. A donkey is easy to manage once the animal knows what to do and recognises the appropriate verbal commands. When a donkey refuses to work, it is almost always because the work is impossible for the animal, not because it is “stubborn”.

Version 2, 2004

Agrodok 036, Preparation of Dairy Products - 1985-01-01

This Agrodok is meant to serve as a manual for those who want to start small-scale production of dairy products in developing countries. The booklet introduces the reader to small-scale dairy production using simple techniques. It also gives an idea of the opportunities available to earn some income through cheese making. Locally there is often much knowledge available on production of dairy products. We would advise you to get acquainted with such methods in your area before starting on your own. We would also suggest that you not introduce Western dairy products if there is no need to do so, especially if local dairy products are already being made.

Version 6, 2006 

Agrodok 037, Small-Scale Seed Production - 2004-01-01

With Variety Improvement of Cereals and Pulses

Seed production and the maintenance of crop cultivars by small farmers is a subject that has attracted increasing attention over the past decade. The increasing dominance of large multinationals in the seed trade, the controversy over genetic engineering, and the recognition of farmers’ rights over cultivars developed by them over the course of many years have all highlighted the importance of the maintenance of farmer capacity and capability in seed production.

This Agrodok hopes to contribute to the skills and references at the farmer’s disposal. It has been written with frontline extension staff and skilled small-scale farmers in mind. It deals with the general principles and practices of cultivar maintenance and seed production, and makes reference to specific issues regarding cereal and legume seeds. It is hoped that follow-up booklets will deal with specific requirements of other important crop groups

Version 1,2004

Agrodok 038, Starting a Cooperative - 2004-01-01

Farmer-Controlled Economic Initiatives

Agricultural cooperatives usually develop in rural economies during the transformation from self-sufficiency farming to full market production. At this stage farmers often start realising their weak individual economic position in the market. By joining forces and initiating economic cooperation, farmers can strengthen their position in the market so that they can jointly benefit.

This publication is intended to serve as a guide to support farmers’ groups through the difficult process of starting a cooperative business and to help them find their way and make their own choices in developing a successful enterprise. We realise that this publication is only a beginning and we would therefore appreciate receiving readers’ comments or descriptions of the experiences of farmers’ groups. In order to facilitate discussion we have included a number of statements in Appendix 2.

Version 2, 2006

Agrodok 039, Non-Timber Forest Products - 2006-01-01

The Value of Wild Plants

Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) are wild plant and animal products harvested from forests, such as wild fruits, vegetables, nuts, edible roots, honey, palm leaves, medicinal plants, poisons and bush meat. Millions of people – especially those living in rural areas in developing countries – collect these products daily, and many regard selling them as a means of earning a living.

This Agrodok presents an overview of the major commercial wild plant products from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. It explains their significance in traditional health care, social and ritual values, and forest conservation. It is designed to serve as a useful source of basic information for local forest dependent communities, especially those who harvest, process and market these products. We also hope that this Agrodok will help arouse the awareness of the potential of NTFPs among development organisations, local NGOs, government officials at local and regional level, and extension workers assisting local communities.

Version 1, 2006

Agrodok 040, Small-Scale Mushroom Cultivation - 2005-01-01

Oyster, Shiitake and Wood Ear Mushrooms

This Agrodok contains detailed information on how to grow three kinds of mushrooms: oyster, shiitake and wood ear mushrooms. These mushrooms are rather easy to grow on a small scale. Cultivation of the common white button mushroom and of the rice straw mushroom is very different and will therefore be dealt with in another Agrodok.

Much of the information presented here is from my book “Mushroom cultivation and appropriate technologies for commercial mushroom growers”. By concentrating on three mushroom species only and on relatively simple technologies, I hope readers can obtain a sustainable profit from mushroom growing.

Version 1, 2005