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ECHO Asia Agriculture & Community Development Conference 2023 2023-08-15

October 16-20 | Chiang Mai, Thailand

How can we help small-scale farming initiatives thrive in Asia? We can provide low-cost, innovative options that allow people to grow both their crops and their knowledge, expand their operations, and thrive!

Register Today!

Early Bird Special ends on August 31st! 

Join us for 4-days of networking and opportunities to share ideas, technologies appropriate for small-scale farmers, and lots of practical demonstrations at the ECHO Asia Seed Bank & Small Farm Resource Center. In addition to morning plenary speakers, we will conduct afternoon workshops at the ECHO Small Farm Resource Center, an evening poster session, a seed exchange, and a 1-day site visit to an area best practice site!

Register Today for ECHO's 30th Annual International Agriculture Conference! 2023-08-08

Celebrating 30 years of learning together

November 7-9 | Fort Myers, Florida          Register Today!

Welcome to the 30th annual ECHO International Agriculture Conference! The plenary speakers, breakout sessions and workshops provide opportunities for learning with others devoted to eradicating hunger and improving lives through agriculture, clean water, and community development. Speakers share their agricultural challenges and successes, personal experiences, and transferrable principles for improving the lives of millions facing food insecurity daily. The highlight is networking with like-minded practitioners, researchers, and educators. The conference is from November 7-9 in Fort Myers, Florida. Come celebrate 30 years of networking and learning together!

North America  

AgriStewards Events this month! 2023-08-01

This month, AgriStewards is hosting 3 concurrent events in Indiana, USA. 

NetCAP | August 9 Register Here

The 2023 Conference of workshops and networking is around the topic “Supply Chain – from Farm to Feed – supporting farmers and food security among the rural poor.”  We always have a variety of topics not necessarily all related to the main theme.  The main goal here is networking and it has been a great opportunity for that. Please come to learn and share your ideas.

Foundations for Farming Training | August 10-12 Register Here

Foundations for Farming Vegetable Training | August 14-15 Register Here

Speaker Highlight: Lucia Petro 2023-07-20

ECHO East Africa Symposium on Appropriate Technology Innovations and Renewable Energy 

Biography: Lucia Petro is the founder of Burnstove Manufacturing Company Limited. She holds Master degree (MSc) in Sustainable Energy Science and Engineering (SESE) from Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology for two years, she has been working with The Arusha Technical College at the Mechanical Engineering Departments - Biomass Engineering section. Ever since Lucia was a child, she was always fascinated by how things work and how they were made. Little did she know that her curiosity would end up making a difference to the community. Lucia was very determined to come up with a solution to help the village she grew up from, from using firewood and charcoals due to health problems they were facing. While in secondary school, Lucia started to realize the importance of environmental conservation to communities and she was not happy on people cutting down trees.

I was not pleased with how our environment was polluted, it was a turning point in my life, and made me think about environmental and ecological issues caused by humans and started thinking about possible solutions.

Session: Lucia will share her experience on low-cost cook stove which is using Waste engine oil or waste vegetable oil for clean cooking energy source.

Register for the Symposium Today!

EDN #160 Now Available 2023-07-17

In this issue:

Download EDN 160

Low-Cost Seed Storage Technologies

Tim Motis


Tolerance to ambient conditions varies with crop. Our findings showed that velvet bean seeds tolerated high heat and humidity much better than sorghum seeds. This shows that crops can vary significantly in their tolerance of unfavorable storage conditions. Of the two vacuum sealing treatments, vacuum drawn on glass jars with a modified bicycle pump proved to be as or more effective in maintaining seed moisture content in storage than a much more expensive machine sealer. Both desiccants proved effective in maintaining baseline seed moisture content, but only the zeolite Drying Beads® reduced seed moisture over time. Calcium oxide is more widely available (as burnt lime) than zeolite Drying Beads® but takes more heat to reuse—after saturation with moisture—than zeolite Drying Beads®. Zeolite Drying Beads®, at the ratio used in the trial, dried seeds to the point where final germination percentages were adversely affected.

[Read the full article]

Do you recommend a smothering cover crop? 2023-07-12

ECHO corresponded with community member Glenn about Jack bean (Canavalia ensiformis) as an option for smothering weeds. Slow-growing and erect, not spreading, we could use it for crowding out weeds and grasses in orchards. Other cover crops such as Velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens) send out vines and can climb up trees and take over orchards if one is not careful! We may need to plant jack bean closer together, at 6-8 inches (15 -20 cm), to achieve a higher Leaf Area Index, LAI, and out-compete weeds and supplement nitrogen needs. Do you have experience with using jack bean or other weed-smothering crops that you'd like to share with Glenn?

Join the Conversation!

ECHO West Africa Staff Traveled to Cameroon 2023-07-04

ECHO West Africa staff traveled to Foumbot, Cameroon to train from May 22 to 24. The training equipped 70 participants made up of 35 men and 35 women.

The following themes were the subject of the work of the said training: the major challenges of agriculture and possible solutions, the method of Foundations for Farming, the 21-day biothermal composting, liquid fertilizer of 14 days, the liquid fertilizer of 10 days, the solid fertilizer of 1 day, the practices of biopesticides, the organic intensive and soilless garden, the virtues and opportunities of Moringa oleifera, the church and community development and finally, make a success of his small local poultry farm.

At the end of the training, the participants expressed their full satisfaction, and each committed to sharing these techniques with at least 10 other people.

When your neighbor's hut is burning, if you are not going to help him put out the fire, your hut is also in danger. By this same impulse of solidarity, we will popularize your techniques so that we can all live healthily and with dignity.

Souleymane, one of the ECHO West Africa trainees

Learn more about ECHO West Africa's Techniques

Join the Conversation about Food Drying Technologies! 2023-06-27

Having nutritious foods in the off-season and preserving an abundance of produce at one time can be challenging problems in the hot and humid tropics. Food drying can be a great option to address these two concerns. There are options for passive food driers that don't use electricity that many in our network have experimented with as well as active driers that use forced air and sometimes have a heating element. There is an ongoing conversation about these technologies on ECHO Conversations and we would like to hear about your experience! What fruits, vegetables, or leaves have you tried drying for long-term storage? What technologies have worked well for you? Which ones haven't worked for you? Let's learn together!

Join the Conversation!

Black Soldier Fly Larvae Production Technical Note (no 99) Now Available! 2023-06-21

Black soldier fly larvae are grown for their protein- and fat-rich biomass that can be fed to many types of livestock. This production guide is based off of the scaled-up system at the ECHO Asia Small Farm Resource Center. The authors encourage adaptation to fit the needs, resources, and constraints of your local context. The end of this article includes some considerations for household-level operations.

Read Online                Download PDF

EXCERPT: To collect the eggs of the adult female BSF, provide favorable material for laying eggs within the mating enclosure. The ECHO Asia Farm discovered that small blocks of wood work well and provide both an inviting egg-laying environment and easy egg collection method for the workers. Using small pieces of cardboard may be logical (Wong, 2020), but the wooden blocks are convenient for collecting eggs and result in higher quantities of eggs as experienced by ECHO Asia staff. At this stage, it is important to note that BSF do not lay their eggs directly on (or in) a food source, but nearby to one. Blocks should be near a food source.

ECHO East Africa Note 10 Now Available! 2023-06-07

The issues surrounding current pastoralist practices are complex. A recent ECHO East Africa symposium focused attention on some crucial issues. It also addressed several potential remedies for the conflicts and challenges. This issue of ECHO East Africa Notes focuses on pastoralists and what interventions ECHO has found effective in serving pastoralist communities. 

Download ECHO East Africa Note 10   Read ECHO East Africa Note 10 Online