About the Impact Center

Asian Farm

ECHO Asia, a regional extension arm of ECHO, exists to equip and empower workers in agriculture and community development so that they can be more effective in their work with smallholder farmers and the poor in Asia to improve food security and livelihoods.

We do this by providing free resources, information, training, and seeds to our network members residing in Asia.


ECHO Asia News May 2016


Services

  • A quarterly release of the ECHO Asia Notes and News- technical articles on a wide variety of topics as well as information on upcoming events and happenings in the network.
  • Fostering a communal sharing of new ideas & information- we desire to “ECHO” and promote good agricultural practices happening in Asia!
  • Hosting Agriculture and Community Development events- we routinely host regional and country-wide workshops with organizational partners in order to offer context-relevant information in local languages. Upcoming events include Nepal in May, 2017 and our Chiang Mai Conference in October
  • Cultivating a catalog of over 150 seeds from the Chiang Mai Thailand Seed Bank- a continuously expanding seed inventory is available and for sale on ECHOcommunity.org. Our members qualify for 10 free seed packets per year!
  • Partnering with our network to print expanded resources for sale and in our resource library.
  • Offering technical responses to field questions from network.
  • Providing on-site consultations for organizations and individuals.

Contact:

Abram Bicksler, Director

Mailing Address

Office: PO Box 64, Chiang Mai 50000 Thailand

Seed Bank: PO Box 17, Fang 50110 Thailand

Physical Address

Office: 270/5 Tung Hotel Road Soi 6, T.Watget, A.Meung, Chiang Mai 50000 Thailand

Seed Bank: 121 M.8, T. Mae Na Wang, A.Mae Ai, Chiang Mai 50280 Thailand

Asia Regional Impact Center Updates

ECHO Asia Research: Local treatments and vacuum sealing as novel control strategies for stored seed pests in the tropics 2017-03-22

Published in Agronomy for Sustainable Development : February 2017

Abstract: Prevention of pests while maintaining viable seed during storage is often challenging for smallholder farmers in the tropics and subtropics. Investment in costly technologies or storage equipment is often unavailable or economically unreasonable, and alternative methods of seed storage can play a role in ensuring regional and global food security. This research evaluates whether or not vacuum sealing and locally available seed storage treatments are effective techniques to control cowpea bruchid (Callosobruchus maculatus). This research also assesses the effects of such techniques on the viability of stored Lablab (Lablab purpureus L.) seed in the humid tropics. Tested treatments included vegetable oil, pulverized bamboo charcoal, galangal powder, powdered detergent, a bleach solution, and carbaryl. Infested seed samples stored in northern Thailand under local treatment options and vacuum sealing were evaluated between May 2011 and May 2012 for bruchid presence, seed viability, and seed vigor. After 1 year of vacuum storage, seed viability was 77.6% compared with 66.5% under non-vacuum conditions. Over that period, vacuum storage successfully prevented bruchid population growth (4.9 compared with 123.3 insects per 50 seeds under non-vacuum conditions; F = 22.59, P < 0.001). By contrast, the oil treatment greatly reduced seed viability (1.3%), although it restrained bruchid population growth (3.5 compared to 97.0 insects per 50 seeds). Other local treatments (galangal powder, carbaryl, and bamboo charcoal) limited bruchid population growth (F = 8.37, P < 0.05) compared with the control, while maintaining seed viability. Seed germination duration was not affected by vacuum sealing and seed treatments but was rather influenced by changing environmental conditions throughout the trial. These seasonal changes also influenced overall insect lifecycle and seed metabolism. These results demonstrate that vacuum sealing and several locally available treatments provide novel, low-cost, appropriate seed storage options for local seed banks and smallholder farmers in the developing world, thus avoiding the use of locally rare or expensive chemicals, low temperature, or low moisture conditions.

[ Read the full article ]

Lawrence, B., Bicksler, A.J. & Duncan, K. Agron. Sustain. Dev. (2017) 37: 6. doi:10.1007/s13593-017-0415-0

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About Asia Regional Impact Center

Despite considerable economic gains over the past three decades, due to the region's vastness, its enormous population, as well as uneven economic growth, Asia remains home to two-thirds of the world's poor. Remaining challenges related to regional poverty and food insecurity include:

More than 600 million Asians live in absolute poverty (less than $1 a day) and 2/3 of the world’s hungry people live in Asia.

Although Asia's share of the global gross domestic product is expected to approach 42 percent by 2015, the region will still be home to half of the world's poor.

Growth in rice production, Asia's staple, has slowed and rice production areas are in decline.

Growing resource scarcity (i.e., water and arable land) will increasingly constrain food production growth.

Sources:

Asian leaders issue poverty warning, International Herald Tribune, May 4, 2008; Reducing Poverty and Hunger in Asia: The Role of Agriculture and Rural Development, Edited by Nurul Islam, International Food Policy Research Institute, 2008. World Hunger Statistics, World Food Programme. 2014.