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ECHO Tech Notes are subject-specific publications about topics important to those working in the tropics and subtropics. Our material is authored by ECHO staff and outside writers, all with experience and knowledge of their subject. These documents are free for your use and will hopefully serve a valuable role in your working library of resources in agricultural development!

93 Issues in this Publication (Showing issues 46 - 37) |

TN #46 Papaya Leaf Tea as a Malaria Prophylactic? - 2002-01-01

ECHO does NOT recommend that anyone stop taking their antimalarial medicine in order to try this treatment. The only evidence for the effectiveness of papaya leaf tea in the prevention of malaria is anecdotal. No studies have been done to scientifically demonstrate its effectiveness.

Does papaya leaf tea prevent malaria? In ECHO Development Notes Issue 69 (September 2000), we asked if any of those in our network had heard of the use of papaya leaf tea for the treatment and/or prevention of malaria. We were prompted by a question from two development workers in Indonesia who wrote to ECHO inquiring whether papaya leaves contained quinine. They wondered because tea from the leaves is widely used there in the belief that it prevents malaria. Dr. Rolf Myhrman at Judson College analyzed the bitter leaves for quinine, but found none. That does not, of course, rule out the possibility that some other chemical in the leaves may be effective.

Cite this article as:

Berkelaar, D. 2002. Papaya Leaf Tea as a Malaria Prophylactic?. ECHO Technical Note no. 46.

TN #45 Should an Institution Grow its Own Food - 2001-06-01

Several times each year ECHO hears from someone (1) at an institution that is evaluating whether it should attempt to grow food for its [students, orphans, feeding program, staff, etc.] or (2) from someone contacted by such an institution and are asking ECHO's advice about whether/how to help them. Usually the institution has land that they could be farming or the government has promised to give it to them.

Cite this article as:

Price, M.L. 2001. Should an Institution Grow its Own Food. ECHO Technical Note no. 45.

TN #44 Methane Digester - 2001-01-01

When organic material decomposes under anaerobic conditions, it produces biogas which is a mixture of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) with small quantities of hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon monoxide and other compounds. Biogas can be used as a fuel source for cooking, heating, producing light or even fueling a generator. A methane digester is a device used to produce and capture this biogas. There are many designs for methane digesters ranging from large and complex to small and simple. This document will cover 2 main types of digesters: batch digesters and flow-thru digesters; and 2 main types of gas collectors: tube collectors and floating collectors.

Cite this article as:

Doerr, B. and N. Lemkuhl 2001. Methane Digester. ECHO Technical Note no. 44.

TN #43 BioSand Water Filter - 2001-01-01

Access to clean drinking water remains one of the greatest challenges in the world. The BioSand Filter is one method that can be used for purifying water at the household level. With this filter, contaminated water is filtered through a natural biological layer and then layers of sand, pebbles and stones. The BioSand Filter can be made using local materials and is a low-cost system that removes suspended sediments and other impurities from water in order to make it safer for human consumption. 

What’s Inside:

  • Household Water Treatment
  • Filter Details Materials for Construction Filter
  • Construction Filter Assembly
  • Filter Use Filter
  • Maintenance Additional Resources 

Cite this article as:

Doerr, B. and N. Lemkuhl 2001. Biosand Water Filter. ECHO Technical Note no. 43.

TN #42 Haybaler - 2001-01-01

This simple device provides a method of manually producing bales of hay. Small-scale farmers may be interested in this technology because hay is both easier to store and easier to transport when it has been baled. Also, baled hay retains a higher nutrient content than hay that has been cut and left exposed to the sun.

Cite this article as:

Dahlman, J. and C. Forst 2001. Haybaler. ECHO Technical Note no. 42.

TN #41 Solar Dehydrator - 2001-01-01

Often the biggest challenge faced by a tropical farmer is not in the production of a crop but rather in the preservation of the crop. Farmers may want to preserve a crop for future consumption or for sale at a time when the market will offer a higher price.

Using a solar dehydrator is a simple, cost-effective way to preserve a variety of different crops. Dehydrating removes the moisture from food so that bacteria, yeast and mold cannot grow and spoil it. 

Cite this article as:

Dahlman, J. and C. Forst 2001. Solar Dehydrator. ECHO Technical Note no. 41.

TN #40 Sawdust Cookstove - 2001-01-01

There are many variations of sawdust cookstoves that have been used for many years both in North America and around the world. This sawdust cookstove model provides a low-cost, low-input method for producing a high intensity flame that will burn for up to five hours. The flame burns fairly clean with little smoke. This stove brings one gallon of water to a boil in approximately 12 to 15 minutes and maintains an intense temperature for two to five hours, depending on the fuel used and the compression of the fuel (fine, highly compressed sawdust burns longer than coarse or loose material). In addition to sawdust, fibrous plant waste such as rice hulls, chaff, coffee bean hulls and straw can be used as fuel. A mix of sawdust and coarser material works well.

Cite this article as:

Dahlman, J. and C. Forst 2001. Sawdust Cookstove. ECHO Technical Note no. 40.

TN #39 Introducing New Seeds Overseas - 2000-01-21

ECHO is frequently asked, by groups or individuals from North America, to suggest vegetable seeds to take with them on short trips overseas. Often the group is a “work team” that is being sent by a church. Someone with the group they are going to visit has asked them to bring vegetable seeds. Or perhaps the group has just decided that it would be a nice thing to do.

What's Inside:

  • Gardening Differs in the Tropics
  • Questions to Consider When Selecting Seeds
  • Recommendations for Selecting Seeds for Use Overseas
  • Pitfalls to Avoid and Some Positive Suggestions
  • Considerations Before Sending Free Seeds
  • Seed Sources

Cite this article as:

Price, M.L. 2000. Introducing New Seeds Overseas. ECHO Technical Note no. 39.

TN #38 Cashew - 1999-01-01

The cashew, Anacardium occidentale, is a resilient and fast-growing evergreen tree that can grow to a height of 20 m (60 ft). It belongs to the family Anacardiaceae, which also contains poison ivy and the mango. Native to arid northeastern Brazil, the cashew was taken around the world by the Portuguese and Spanish who planted the trees in their colonies. The English name "cashew" is derived from the Portuguese "cajú" which came from the Tupi Indian "acaju" (Rosengarten, 1984). In Spanish it is known as "marañón" or "anacardo."

Cashew is an important nut crop that provides food, employment and hard currency to many in developing nations. Of all nuts, cashew is second only to the almond in commercial importance (Rosengarten, 1984). India, Mozambique, and Tanzania are the three biggest exporters of cashew nuts today. Although there are large commercial plantings of cashew, wild trees or those owned by small farmers account for 97% of cashew production (Rosengarten, 1984).

The plant produces not only the well-known nut, but also a pseudofruit known as the cashew "apple" and cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL) which is used for industrial and medicinal purposes.

The cashew tree has other uses as well. It is used for reforestation, in preventing desertification and as a roadside buffer tree. Cashew was planted in India in order to prevent erosion on the coast (Morton, 1960). The wood from the tree is used for carpentry, firewood, and charcoal. The tree exudes a gum called cashawa that can be used in varnishes or in place of gum arabic. Cashew bark is about 9% tannin, which is used in tanning leather.

Cite this article as:

Davis, K. 1999. Cashew. ECHO Technical Note no. 38.

TN #37 Egusi Recipes - 1998-11-01

In West Africa, the name Egusi is applied to members of the gourd family having seeds of high oil content. Egusi Melon plants closely resemble watermelon plants; both have a non climbing creeping habit and deeply cut lobed leaves. The pulp of the watermelon fruit, however, is sweet and edible while the Egusi Melon has bitter and inedible fruit pulp. Egusi Melon seeds are larger than watermelon seeds, and they are light colored. Egusi Melon is cultivated in portions of West Africa, especially in Western Nigeria, for the food in the seed and as a crop interplanted with maize, cassava, or other crops.

Cite article as:

Welch, R. and K. Smith 1998. Egusi Recipes. ECHO Technical Note no. 37.