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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 13 - 4) |

TN #13 Strawberries : A Potential Cash Crop in the Tropics - 1985-08-01

Several scientists and one grower were contacted by telephone and asked about the potential of strawberries for the tropics. Their conversations are summarized.


The potential of strawberries (Frageria americana) as a source of income for the small farmer has been clearly demonstrated at the Baptist mission in Haiti. They have never sold for less than $1 per pint and they say the wealthier people drive up from the city to buy them.


The major limitation is that fresh, disease-free plants must be purchased at least every second year from the United States. This requires a capital investment on the part of the farmer and some risk that the plants may be dead upon arrival due to transportation foulups. A limiting geographical factor is that elevations which provide some relief from the heat are usually required.

Cite this article as:

Price, M.L. 1985. Strawberries : A Potential Cash Crop in the Tropics. ECHO Technical Note no. 13.

TN #12 The Moringa Tree - 1985-06-01

The moringa tree, Moringa oleifera, has probably been the most popular plant in ECHO's seed bank of underutilized tropical crops. The tree is native to India but has been planted around the world and is naturalized in many locales. Moringa goes by many names. In the Philippines, where the leaves of the moringa are cooked and fed to babies, it is called "mother's best friend" and "malunggay." Other names for it include the benzolive tree (Haiti), horseradish tree (Florida), Nébéday (Senegal) and drumstick tree (India).

Cite this article as:

Price, M.L. 1985. The Moringa Tree . ECHO Technical Note no. 12.

TN #11 Control of Weeds, Insects and Diseases - 1985-04-01

On the small farm, or in the home garden, techniques suitable for the production of food might be quite different from those used in large-scale production systems. The use of machinery, for example, might be impossible or uneconomical, or special small-scale equipment might be needed. The wide variety of crops produced implies that the production schedule will be complex. Chemical treatments designed for one crop are liable to interfere with another. Furthermore, the farmer or gardener often will not have the same depth of experience as the large scale commercial farmer, and in the interest of safety may wish to avoid certain substances or machinery. In addition, small scale production may not be plagued with the problems common to large scale production or the farmers may choose to accept a certain reduction in yield or price or a decrease in attractiveness in order to avoid pesticides.

Cite this article as:

Martin, F.W. 1985. Control of Weeds, Insects and Diseases. ECHO Technical Note no. 11.

TN #10 Green Manure Crops - 1985-01-01

Green manure crops are crops that are [often times in North America] grown to be turned under to increase soil fertility.  Leguminous green manure crops ( i.e., those which can make nitrogen fertilizers from atmospheric nitrogen) can offer small-scale Third World farmers a tremendous number of advantages.

Something like 30% of all the increases in harvests achieved by small farmers in the Third World during the last three decades has been achieved through the use of chemical fertilizers.  As petroleum prices increase, prices of chemical fertilizers could easily become too expensive to be economically feasible for use with traditional basic grains.  Almost overnight, Third World basic grain production could plummet.  Widespread use of green manure crops could avert much of this impact.

What’s Inside:

  • Comparison with Compost
  • Cropping Systems
  • Some Plant Species Suitable for Green Manures

Cite this article as:

Bunch, R. and ECHO staff 1985. Green Manure Crops. ECHO Technical Note no. 10.

TN #9 Multi-Purpose Trees for Honey Production - 1984-09-01

Next to food, firewood is the most scarce item in developing countries. More than one third of the world is dependent upon firewood to supply their energy needs and ninety percent of the people in the poorest countries depend upon it as their chief source of fuel.


What better way is there to solve the firewood problem than by planting fast growing trees that will not only produce firewood but also food and fodder? Some of the most suitable trees for this purpose are also valuable honey producing trees that have nitrogen fixing properties which will support grasses.

Cite this article as:

Townsend, G.F. 1984. Multi-Purpose Trees for Honey Production. ECHO Technical Note no. 9.

TN #8 Beehive Designs for the Tropics - 1984-08-01

Several types of hives and their construction will be described but it must always be kept in mind that availability of materials is of extreme importance. There are places where lumber is readily available at reasonable prices and, certainly, if it is termite-proof or termite-proofed it is the best and easiest material to work with. However, there are other areas where timber is very short in supply or extremely expensive and other methods of hive construction must be considered although the same principles could be adapted as those described for lumber.

Cite this article as:

Townsend, G.F. 1984. Beehive Designs for the Tropics. ECHO Technical Note no. 8.

TN #7 Chicken Manure Tea : Research Report - 1984-07-01

One aspect of ECHO's ministry is behind the scenes for most of our readers. We help college professors and students in the sciences identify research projects that would be of benefit to the small Third World farmer. Several ideas that could be done at an undergraduate level are written up in what we call Academic Opportunity Sheets. Nathan Duddles, while an undergraduate at California Polytechnic University, did an outstanding job on one of these projects, evaluating the suitability of chicken manure tea as a fertilizer. I believe the quality of his work is at a Masters level.

Cite this article as:

Price, M.L. and N. Duddles 1984. Chicken Manure Tea : Research Report. ECHO Technical Note no. 7.

TN #6 Cucurbit Seed as Possible Oil & Protein Sources - 1984-06-01

The uses of cucurbit seeds as sources of oils and proteins have been reviewed by Jacks, et al. (1972). After the hull is removed, cucurbit seeds contain about 50 percent oil and up to 35 percent proteins. Most of their oil is made up of non-saturated fatty acids, thus of high nutritional values. Conjugated fatty acids among some cucurbit oils make them highly useful as drying oils. [I.e. they combine readily with oxygen to form an elastic,
waterproof film. Ed.] The proteins, on the other hand, are principally of the globulin type, and are deficient in lysine but also in sulfur-bearing amino acid. Protein efficiency ratios of about 30 to 70 (that of powdered skim milk is 80) have been measured. The PER improves with addition of lysine.

Cite this article as:

Martin, F.W. 1984. Cucurbit Seed as Possible Oil & Protein Sources. ECHO Technical Note no. 6.

TN #5 Neem - 1984-04-20

This technical note was published in the early 80's when there were relatively few sources of information on, or seed for the the neem tree. In recent years much progress has been made in each of these areas. The information contained in this technical note is still quite valuable. A good source of additional information is the National Academy of Sciences publication Neem: A tree for Solving Global Problems. Like all NAS publications, it should be available from: BOSTID Publications - HA 476, 2101 Constitution Avenue N. W., Washington, D.C. 20418. Complementary copies are sometimes provided free-of-charge to those working with Third World development organizations (use official letterhead and titles). ECHO now has it available for sale for $19.00 plus $2.00 postage in U.S.A.

Cite this article as:

Dreyer, M. and ECHO staff 1984. Neem. ECHO Technical Note no. 5.

TN #4 Leucaena - 1984-01-19

Leucaena leucocephala ("koa haole"-Hawaii; ipil ipil - Phillipines) is a fast-growing, leguminous tree that can be used for reforestation, for firewood, and as a forage crop that can equal alfalfa in nutritional value. There are three basic types of leucaena trees: Hawaiian, Salvador, and Peru. There are also crosses between these. You need to choose the type that best fills your needs. The Hawaiian type is short and bushy. Because its yield of wood and foliage is low compared to the other two types, this would probably be a poor choice. The Salvador type (Hawaiian giant) is tall and tree-like. The trees can grow 60 ft. in height in five years. The best varieties of this type are K8 (Mexico), K28, K67 and K72. K67 is the best variety for projects that need to produce large quantities of seed. The Peru type is tall with extensive branching. The trees are good for forage. Good varieties are K6 and K62. An excellent forage-type leucaena is the Cunningham (K500) which was developed in Australia. It is a cross between the Salvador and Peru types.

Cite this article as:

Brewbaker, J.L. 1984. Leucaena. ECHO Technical Note no. 4.