About the Impact Center

NepalMay2017
Building a biochar stove at the Nepal Agriculture & Community Development Workshop, May 2017

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.

To learn more about our upcoming conference in Chiang Mai in October, go to our Event Page here.


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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 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 Impact Center Updates

Pig Pens, Buried Gold, and the Good News 2017-09-08

By Patrick Trail – ECHO Asia Regional Impact Center

In a recent visit to Baguio City (Luzon island – northern Philippines) I spent a few days with a local host, a man named Jonathan, one of the most caring, joyful, and evangelical men I have met. While visiting this particular farm, he told me the story of how this church came to be, and how it has become much more than just a nice building for the neighbors to look at.

Knowing that the Lord was calling him to this small village of illegal goldmines, he wasn’t sure why or what he was supposed to do there, or how to even begin to reach people. So he moved there and started raising pigs, something he knew how to do well (he is a trained agriculturalist). After he had been there a while and had successfully established a deep-litter pig production system, an old man came down from the mountain to ask him about his pigs, wanting to know why he raised pigs in this way and whether it worked or not. Jonathan told him that if he really wanted to know, he’d better go get the other men in the community to come too, because he didn’t really want to have to explain it twice. The man obliged and soon brought six men back with him.

Jonathan points to a large mango tree and tells me that right there he explained and demonstrated the principles of raising pigs in a deep litter system, of how to keep the pigs healthy and his labor lower. Jonathan tells me he then shared the Gospel right then and there with the men, under the same mango tree. The men all agreed that they wanted to know more of this Jesus, and so decided to return for more instruction.

After discipling them for a time, the men began to share their faith with their own families and friends and their number grew, to the point that they decided it was time to build their own church building. After asking Jonathan how they should pay for a building, he suggested that they should start by praying that the Lord might provide the funds. So that is exactly what they did.

Not long after that, Jonathan tells me that the same old man from the mountain was on his property and discovered gold right where he stood. Being a community of gold miners, the men not only recognized it but knew how to get to it, and so they retrieved their find and used it to build the church you see above!

One of the six men is now the pastor of the church, and in addition to a sanctuary, they have established a small orphanage and a small farm garden to support some of the needs of the widows and orphans in their vicinity. Jonathan still works with them on a regular basis discipling them, and they are growing spiritually as well as in their capacity to meet some of the physical needs around them!


Jonathan is a long time ECHO partner and shares a vision of using sound agricultural techniques to lift people up and produce abundance, and to serve as a witness of the Gospel. Many of the vegetables you see in the photo actually came from the ECHO Asia Seedbank in Thailand, and have subsequently been passed on to the surrounding community, many seeds (in many forms) are being planted in this place.

Jonathan has previously participated in ECHO Asia training events and has been a key partner in the vision and planning of the Asia Pacific Sustainable Agriculture & Development Conference in Baguio City, Philippines, in February of 2018. This same site will be one of many field site visits following the conference!

About Asia 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.