Research posters are effective visual tools that help present information in concise and interpretive ways. Yearly at ECHO's International Agriculture Conference, posters that pertain to tropical agriculture and development are presented by ECHO staff and conference delagates. These include research summaries, crop evaluations, development project summaries and more. If you are interested in submitting a poster for this upcoming conference, please see the poster session and guidelines. Posters may be submitted for review at any time and will be displayed on ECHO Community if approved.

23 Issues in this Publication (Showing issues 2017 - 2000) |

Poster - Bio-char As a Replacement For Perlite in Seedling Mix For The Small-Scale Farmer - 2017-11-01

Can biochar replace perlite in seedling mix?

  • Perlite is light weight, sterile, porous, increases drainage, improves aeration, and helps to keep soil unsaturated and un-compacted.
  • Bio-Char is light-weight, sterile, porous, and holds water without getting saturated, giving it the potential to function like perlite. Bio-char is even more similar to perlite’s counter part “vermiculite” when part of a soil mix.
  • Biochar replacing perlite would address the need for a seedling soil mix for the small scale farmer that is low cost, widely accessible, non-toxic and does not compact or upheave.

Leah Hagen; Sue Klein
HEART Institute: 13895 Hwy 27 Lake Wales FL, 33859

Poster - Legume Selection - 2017-11-01

By integrating legumes intoc ropping systems, small-scale farmers in low-resource settings can invest in the long-term health and resilience of their soils. Success or failure depends largely on choosing the right legume(s). Selection or screening trials are use ful experiments that direct appropriate legume selection in context of local conditions. ECHO utilized GMCC screening trial to improve our understanding of how climate influences legume growth, in turn, enhancing our ability to respond to legume selection inquiries. Work was done in partnership with individuals/organizations serving small-scale farmers.Improve our understanding of how climate influences legume growth, in turn, enhancing our ability to respond to legume selection inquiries. Work was done in partnership with individuals/organizations serving small-scale farmers.

The data from these studies is also available as an interactive online tool

Poster - Domestic Techniques to Maximize Plant-based Nutrition - FARM STEW - 2017-11-01

A large percentage of the world's hungry people are primarily vegetarians, and even vegans, either due to religion or poverty. Although some might find that a sad fact, the reality is that a whole foods, plant-based diet can produce the world's healthiest people, as a National Geographic reporter Dan Buettner found in researching the "Blue Zones." These are the 5 places in the world "that had not only high concentrations of 100-year­olds but also clusters of people who had grown old without diseases like heart problems, obesity, cancer, or diabetes." Each location had a primarily plant-based diet and other factors. 

Poster - Let's Raise Chickens for Profit! - 2017-11-01

While availability of food calories has paralleled human population growth in Rwanda, the supply of highly nutritious foods -such as complete protein, fats, and micronutrients -remain insufficient in the Rwandan diet.

Past research has shown the barriers to Rwandans raising chickens to be a lack of technical support, access to capital, and market access. Therefore, the TwororeInkoko, Twunguke(Kinyarwanda for: “Let’s raise chickens for profit!”) project aims to overcome these barriers through increasing the production of broiler chickens by smallholder farmers.

The 3-year pilot project uses a private-sector train-the-trainer extension model to build capacity of rural Rwandans in efficient poultry production. Chickens are raised in 100 bird flocks on a 9-week cycle (7 weeks grow-out + 2 weeks biosecurity/clean out) by resource-poor smallholders for sale and household consumption, with the goal of enrolling 750 producing households in Musanzedistrict. Through the provision of finance, technical support and guaranteed broiler buyback at the end of each grow-out cycle, the project is creating a sustainable model for small-scale broiler production, which can be scaled up throughout Rwanda and the region.

--  Tom Gill1, Dave Ader1, Amanda Kaeser1, Emily Urban1, Mike Smith1 , Brynn Voy1, Caela O’Connell1, Dayton Lambert1, Patricia Watkins1, Susan Schexnayder1, Eric Bisangwa1, Matthew Karugarama2, and Ritah Nshuti2

1University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, 2Zamura Feeds Ltd.

Poster - CO2 and Biogas Applications for Controlling Pests in Seeds - 2017-11-01

Insect pests can result in substantial losses of stored seed. In West Africa, cowpea bruchids (Callasobruchus maculatus) caused up to 100 percent damage of cowpea seeds stored for a few months (Sallam 1999). Primary pests are those that, in larval stage, feed within intact kernels. Others, such as the saw-toothed grain beetle (Oryzaephillus sp.), are secondary pests that attack damaged seeds. Elevated carbon dioxide CO2 levels have been shown to kill insect pests in sealed containers (Navarro 2006). Most insects in stored seeds are killed when the atmosphere in the room or container is comprised of 60% or more CO2. Elevated CO2 levels have little or no adverse effect on the germination of stored seeds (Gupta et al. 2014; Navarro et al. 2012).

Questions we wanted answers to are...

  • Can household biogas systems be used to safely kill insects in stored seeds?
  • Can a CO2 generator be made from simple materials be used to kill seed pests in storage containers?

Poster - 2-4-2 Update: Protocol for Farmer Field School Trialing (2017) - 2017-11-01

Green manures / covercrops (GMCCs) are widely recognized as having potential to help farmers improve crop yields and maintain high soil quality. Developed by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, 2-4-2 is an intercropping strategy in which two rows of maize are alternated with four rows of cowpea.

Building on findings of ECHO 2-4-2 field trials in southwest Florida, a protocol was developed for trialing 2-4-2 using the Farmer Field School (FFS) model. In a FFS, farmers are both learners and experts. Their participation in the research process is key to adoption of GMCC systems.

Poster - Moringa Fertility Trial - 2016-01-20

Moringa is known for its ability to grow in a wide range of soils. We hypothesized, however, that moringa leaf production can be increased by applying fertility inputs at the base of the trees.

We wanted to know:

  • Do moringa trees benefit from fertility inputs?
  • If so, how many grams of nitrogen (from NPK fertilizer) per tree are needed to maximize moringa leaf yield in a sandy soil?
  • Does it make any difference, in terms of moringa yield, if NPK fertilizer is combined with compost?

Moringa trees responded favorably to added fertility. In comparison to no fertility, the largest increase (73%) in moringa yield occurred with 25 g of N per tree, regardless of whether or not compost was applied. However, with the data averaged across NPK-N rates, compost increased leaf yield by 23%. It seems best, therefore, to combine NPK fertilize with compost.

Poster - 2-4-2 Maize/Legume Intercropping Trial Update (2016) - 2016-11-20

The 2:4 maize–double cowpea system consists of a repeating sequence of 4 rows of cowpea alternated with 2 rows of maize. Maize and cowpea are  planted on the same day. The second cowpea crop is planted after the first has been harvested (about 60 days after planting).1 The objective of this trial is to gain first-hand experience while evaluating the feasibility of implementing 2-4-2 with other legumes. Jack bean produced the most (4.3 t/ha) dry matter. Cowpea and velvet bean produced 1.8 and 2.8 t/ha dry matter, respectively. Soil fertility and subsequent maize growth were apparently influenced by the amount of leguminous mulch produced and left on the ground. Maize grew taller with jack bean than cowpea, likely an effect of higher biomass with jack bean. This intercropping pattern shows promise as a way for farmers to intercrop maize with aggressive legumes.

1H.A. Ajeigbe, B.B. Singh, A. Musa, J.O. Adeosun, R.S. Adamu, and D. Chikoye. 2010. Improved cowpea–cereal cropping systems: cereal–double cowpea system for the northern Guinea savanna zone. pp 17

Poster - Oxalates present in monstera fruit and plant matter

Plants contain oxalates for a few reasons. The first is that plants do not have an excretory system like animals, so oxalates allow plants the ability to bind up excess calcium (Webb 1999).Plants high in oxalates can have negative effects on the ability of animals to absorb calcium after eating taro leaves as forage (Hang 2011). In humans, eating foods with a high amounts of oxalates can increase kidney stone formation (Juajun2012).The second reason oxalates are said to occur in plants is to prevent herbivory (Webb 1999). Oxalate crystal shapes (raphidesand styloids) are like small needles and can be found in plants such as Monsteradeliciosaand Colocasiaesculenta.Consumption of plants containing raphidesand styloids cause an unwanted reaction. The crystals within plant matter from monsteraare said to cause oral and skin irritation (Morton 1987). Plants containing high levels of oxalates are able to be consumed if processed correctly or harvested at the right time.