About the Impact Center

This center was was developed to provide ECHO services to help those in East Africa who work with the poor more effectively, especially in the area of ​​agriculture and alternative methods. ECHO East Africa works as a basic training center giving technical assistance to help organizations and community development workers to work more effectively to reduce hunger.



Services

  • Conduct research and development on locally appropriate sustainable agriculture practices
  • Collaborate with, and provide networking opportunities for, development agencies working in East Africa
  • Provide garden displays and demonstrations of agricultural options
  • Provide agricultural resources for study
  • Demonstrate alternative training methods, including creative collaboration and exhibitions
  • The ECHO seed bank provides packaged seeds, as well as seed exchange opportunities and seed conservation education.
  • Training for home gardens (organic gardens, kitchen gardens, gardens, bags and manufacture of peat)
  • Training and visits to fruit tree nurseries
  • Organization of conferences, workshops, forums, exchange visits, and training in best practices
  • Network between farmers and other development partners
  • Conduct agricultural fairs
 

Contact:

Erwin Kinsey

ECHO East Africa Impact Center
P O Box 15205
Arusha Tanzania

eastafrica@echonet.org

 

East Africa Updates

PITA Project Has Opened Our Eyes 2018-08-13

Guest Post from ECHO East Africa
By Sophia Kasubi

Students and teachers from various schools are beneficiaries of the ECHO training through the Finnish-funded PITA project say that the project teaches them about sustainable integrated agriculture.

“It has opened our eyes to see farming in a different perspective.”

In Meru district where this project is offered, farmers grow bananas and coffee in the highlands, and maize and beans in the lowlands. Many are also involved in small commercial horticulture. They mainly depend on surplus for cash but primarily focus on food crops, growing vegetables for many years for different purposes, especially those areas with good water sources which enable them to water their vegetables even during the dry season. In the past the population was low and there was plenty of land. Now many lack adequate land or water, and self-reliant vegetable production is no longer so easy; many people have sold their land or inherited very small parcels, causing them to be discouraged from gardening. An increase of crop pests, higher costs of inputs, and a mentality that farming is not for aspiring youth has hindered youth engagement in home production of vegetables. In recent years many families struggle with malnutrition in the area.

The PITA project has enabled ECHO to reach a wide audience, facilitating sharing of different techniques of establishing home gardens and school gardens which are fun. Targeting students and teachers, participants are encouraged to share their knowledge with their families back home and use the techniques to produce more vegetables for their school feeding programs. Through the process of learning, students and teachers have shared how their view have changed on the importance of knowing various types of gardening technologies. This knowledge can help in solving problems which exist in their communities.

Gardens introduced include sack garden, key hole gardens and double dug beds, perennial vegetables, and conservation agriculture in the different schools. A mindset change is occurring as students and teachers learn practices of growing vegetables. Students and teachers have thanked the PITA project coordinators for bringing such a different kind of training in , their district, and thanks also to ECHO staff for facilitating and empowering them to learn new techniques of farming.

Latest Resources: East Africa

About East Africa

Food insecurity has increased significantly in East Africa due to the rapid increase in population, with an increase of 150% by 2050. Over 40% of children in East Africa are malnourished. The largest number of these children are orphaned and living in difficult circumstances. Most of the rural population lives in poverty, relying on a subsistence lifestyle. Some of the reasons for this situation include:

  • A High rate of loss of yield
  • Underdeveloped, weak markets, farmers lack the infrastructure to improve thier value chains
  • Minority farmers and herdsmen in the region, don't have adequate access to agricultural services, continuing education or access to formal training
  • Increased pressure forcing families to cultivate a little land, which results in land degradation and loss of sustainability in food production
  • Drought, especially in arid pastoralist areas.
  • Deforestation
  • Flooding
  • Climate

Where we are located

If you are driving North from Arusha, it is 15 km north of the city along A104 (the main road). After you see Mount Meru University on the right, the office will be another half km north and on the right-hand side of the road.
If you are driving South from Nairobi, it is 96 km south of the Namanga border crossing along A104 (the main road). As you see Mount Meru getting closer, pay attention and look for the Habari Maalum Station which will be on the left-hand side of the road.
 
If you come via public transportation, ride the bus (dala dala) from Arusha to Ngaramtoni; then take another bus from Ngaramtoni to the Habari Maalum Radio Station. Guards and staff will be happy to give you directions to the front door of the ECHO office.

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