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General Technical Documents are resources made available through ECHOcommunity.org that are not currently part of an ECHO periodical publication such as ECHO Development Notes or ECHO Technical Notes. These resources may or may not be published by ECHO, but have been made available to the ECHOcommunity as online, sharable resources.

69 Problématiques abordées dans cette publication (Affichage 61 - 69)

Gardening on Rooftops: the last agricultural frontier - 01/01/2008

Low cost, low technology, lightweight methods to produce food on rooftops and other locations above the ground.


As this is being written, food riots in Port-au-Prince, Haiti are making the news. Food riots and demonstrations are starting to occur in other cities in other impoverished countries around the world. Some food producing countries are banning or restricting exports on important food staples. Leaders have little control over the high prices of food, but are desperate to know what can be done to make more food available, at a lower price.

Quite aside from these problems, there has been a growing interest in urban food production in both economically developed and developing countries. Reasons are many. Ecological benefits to the city. A desire to use more locally grown food. Opportunities for micro farming activities for profit. The wholesomeness of allowing people to experience the joy of gardening. Producing food by or for families who cannot buy what they need.

Several large cities even have some impressive rooftop gardens on large buildings. Rooftop gardening is the primary use that we have in mind for the technologies described in this book.

There is a major difference between ECHO’s techniques and those used on or contemplated by planners for most rooftop gardens in wealthier countries.

The techniques that I will describe can be done at a fraction of the expense that is normally considered necessary. They do not require specially engineered buildings to make sure that the roof can handle the weight of the soil. Gardens can even be grown on the edge of a tin roof of a shanty.

Vegetative Propagation Techniques - 18/11/2007

This manual was produced by Roots of Peace under USAID subcontract No. GS-10F- 0359M, Task Order #306-M-00-05-00515-00, Afghanistan Alternative Livelihoods Program for the Eastern Region. It was written by Ferenc Sandor of Roots of Peace, with support from Juan Estrada of DAI for the use by Roots of Peace and Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock extension agents, farmers, agriculture input suppliers and other teachers. The work was funded by USAID under the Alternative Livelihoods Program, Eastern Region which is managed by Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI). For more information, contact Roots of Peace at info@rootsofpeace.org or +1 415 455 8008.

Roots of Peace is humanitarian, not-for-profit organization based in California, USA. Roots of Peace, established in 1997, focuses on post-conflict countries to eradicate remnants of war and to re-establish and promote economic livelihoods and social programs. Roots of Peace is funded by public and private sources.

ECHO Compendium of Warm Climate Fruits - 20/01/2007

This book features both common and hard-to-find fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices and bamboo for Southwest Florida.   It includes fruiting trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants, fruiting vines, brambles, tropical vegetables, herbs, spices, bamboo, tropical and subtropical fruit tree ripening chart, estimated fruit yields, tree planting, fruit tree pruning, cold tolerance, drought tolerance, flood tolerance, fruit trees and saline soils, edible landscaping, plant index.

68 pages, illustrations

A Natural Farming System For Sustainable Agriculture In the Tropics - 20/01/2005

This book is an important work for tropical agriculture. There are very few resources that are truly “organic” and practical for the everyday farmer in the tropical setting. This book covers material that is extremely useful for the day-to-day operation of a farm or garden. It contains planning material that takes into account logistics as well as timetables.

This is not a guide for the agronomy student. I have identified several species that work well for us, but I do not have a planting guide for rice or corn or vegetables. These guides are readily obtained from seed suppliers and general horticultural works. If the reader looks carefully, he will find that I have given a system for natural fertilization in place of the chemical recommendations by traditional methods. Some creative adaptation will be required if your conditions and climate vary. We have a high acid clay soil that was rainforest at one time. Over the years a cogan grass has established itself. That is our starting point and our formulas can be changed for particular challenges that the reader may be facing.

This is not a How-to-do-it manual. Rather, this is a HOW-WE-DO-IT book based on my “Sustainable Agriculture in the Tropics” manual. It has been used to train and equip hundreds of small-scale farmers and gardeners in the natural farming adventure. It is an adventure worth taking, as few things in life will improve general health and well being as much as quality food products grown to their full potential.

Keith O. Mikkelson – Fall 2005

Publication Chapters

Sustainable Agriculture in the Tropics: A Natural Farming System 

Tippy Tap II - 20/01/2005

The Tippy Tap II (Lifewater International) is a modified design of the Tippy Tap that is easier to make and easy to use. The Tippy Tap II can be made from any container of about one to four litres capacity. A jug with a handle works best, but a Tippy Tap II can be made from any plastic container, even a two-litre bottle!

This publication is Copyright by Lifewater International 

Livestock Services and the Poor - 20/01/2004

This Report is a joint product of IFAD, DANIDA, World Bank, DAAS, University of Reading and national institutions in Bangladesh, Bolivia, Denmark, India and Kenya. The judgements made herein do not necessarily reflect their views. Designations employed in this Report do not imply the expression of any opinion, on the part of IFAD or its partners, concerning the legal status of any country or territory, or the delineation of its frontiers.

Coconut Farm Diversification - 20/05/2001

For a long time, coconut farmers were able to live with the fate of declining harvests and incomes. In view of the current prices, this is no longer possible. It needs changes. The best option coconut farmers have to improve their livelihood is to diversify their farms. Fortunately, common coconut farms allow the integration of many other crops
or even livestock. In this regard, the coconut palm is an exception among the plantation crops.

The practice of intercropping is common in coconut farms in many countries, especially in Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and India. In the Philippines, where coconuts occupy about one fourth of the arable land, the ground in many coconut farms is still underutilized. One reason is the commodity approach of research institutions and the government agencies. For example, during the last decade the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) has focused its work on a fertilization program with the aim to increase the production of coconuts. Looking at the current price of copra, the main coconut product, it is questionable if such an approach really helps the farmers. Hence, there is a need for more information on options to improve coconut farms. Because of the decreasing profitability, farmers tend to cut down coconut palms and replace them with other cash crops, usually planted as monocrop. Ecologically and economically, this might be unwise considering the potentials of coconut farms.

Outlines of perennial crop breeding in the tropics - 19/01/1969

In predominantly agricultural tropical countries the need to raise the production of good-quality foodstuffs and raw material is today greater than ever. The rise in production efficiency, so essential for our very existence, can be obtained only partly by improved cultural practices, increased use of fertilizers and better plant protection. It is now generally recognized that local varieties adapted to traditional cultural methods often fail to respond favourably to improved growing conditions. Therefore plant breeders have a most important part to play in the total effort. The greatest challenges and opportunities await them in the tropics. There the developments in agriculture and horticulture could be dramatic, provided that the planting material which is made available to the grower consists of genotypes giving the best results under the new conditions.

In tropical agriculture and horticulture perennial crops occupy an important place. In several of them, especially in plantation crops, much effort has been given to improve the plants by careful selection and breeding. Some breeding programmes have been going on for many years and have considerably increased the yield and improved the quality of the product.