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 These resources may or may not be published by ECHO, but have been made available to the ECHOcommunity as online, sharable resources.

16 Issues in this Publication (Showing 1 - 10)

Building the Bank

A community seed bank can compare favourably with its High-Tech cousin.

Technical Details on the Microgardening Production System

By Abdoulaye Seck

The Microgardening technology is mainly based on 1 or 0.5 m2 wood tables and therefore, can be installed everywhere. Land is an issue in peri-urban/urban and even in some rural areas. The technology can be installed everywhere in household compounds (even in terraces and balconies) to replace land. In addition, the reduced area of the tables (a few m2 ) is compensated by the high yield expected. Other materials can also be used (recuperated tyres, pipes, etc.). This is a crucial advantage in built-up areas where already limited space is under rising pressure as urban and periurban populations continue to grow. This can also sometimes be an issue in rural areas where farmers (particularly women) have not yet secured ownership rights over the land they cultivate, and so remain reluctant to invest in inputs and plant crops whilst there remains a risk of their land being taken away from them.

Creating Nursery Potting Mix

An ECHO developed resource.

Where There is No Farm Advisor

In the present global climate of food shortages and price increases in food and fuel, it is more important than ever that communities improve local, sustainable food production. This handbook is a preliminary resource to introduce to you methods and concepts in tropical agriculture, and to assist you in conducting further research.  Also be sure to look through the Resources section of this booklet for further research and assistance.

ECHO Community Garden Toolkit

The purpose of this resource is to suggest several key considerations for beginning a small garden project. This information is meant to be a guideline to better assist you in the organization and implementation of particular elements crucial to making a garden project successful. While each element may initially require a significant time commitment, we believe that approaching these considerations thoroughly and creatively from the beginning will contribute positively to the sustainability of the project.

Keyhole gardens

This resource generously provided for publication by Global Service Corps.

Over the last two years keyhole gardens have been promoted in different communities throughout different programmes in African countries. They are popular and productive across vastly different environments and cultures.

Essentially the keyhole gardens consist of a ring of stones (in other countries bamboo or bricks are also used) about 2m in diameter, and about 1m high. At the centre of there is a stick, wire or bamboo structure that contains organic wastes. This is about 1.5 m high, with the soil sloping a pyramid fashion from the edge of retain wall up to the core. Fresh waste and water is poured into this core on a regular. Moisture and nutrients then seep down from this core into the surrounding soil. Access to the core is provided by a small path way, giving the plot an appearance of a keyhole when view from above.

Strengthening Informal Indigenous Seed Systems in Southeast Asia

With support from USAID’s Horticulture Collaborative Research Support Program (Hort CRSP), Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization’s Asia Impact Center (ECHO Asia), Maejo University, Thailand, and the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) initiated efforts in 2010 to begin strengthening indigenous informal seed systems in northern Thailand and Cambodia. Their project was premised on several well-established facts:

  • Informal seed systems, such as farmer-to-farmer exchanges and farmer self-saved seed, are critical components of resource-poor farming systems in Southeast Asia.
  • A rich diversity of underutilized species function within these systems, particularly among the hilltribe communities of northern Thailand and Khmer farmers of Cambodia.
  • Current efforts to conserve, improve, and disseminate local species are inadequate, and the indigenous knowledge surrounding this local seed system is threatened, and/or eroding.
  • To optimize these informal seed systems we need to better understand their characteristics and improve local stakeholder capacity, and access to information, technology and high quality seed.

ECHO Crop Information Sheet - 2017-05-08

ECHO reguguarly keeps track of crop porduction records especially for crops disseminated from our Global Seed Bank. This fillable form is the sheet ECHO staff (mainly interns) use when evaluating a crop for it's potential use and distribution to ECHO's Network. This form can also be used to monitor and evaluate new crops or regenerated crops. This form was made specifically for ECHO's use, so it may need adapted and reconfigured in order to best suit your needs and your capacity.

Parthenium hysterophorus - 2017-02-09

Parthenium hysterophorus, also known as carrot top, white top weed, and fever few is a fairly new invasive weed but has quickly become one of the worst weeds to tropical areas(CABI 2015). In Ethiopia it is known as Farmasissa which means “sign your land away” (IAPPS 2016). Originally from Central America, Parthenium has been seen to cause major problems in India and Southeast Asia, Australia, and East Africa. In 2015, Parthenium is said to have invaded roughly 34 countries globally (Strathie 2015). A fast growing highly reproductive invasive species, Parthenium has become a hazard to farmland, rangeland, as well as animal and human health.

List of Short Season Crops Appropriate for Haiti - 2016-10-26

This document was originally prepared in response to hurricane Matthew in 2016.

As organizations are responding to Hurricane Matthew damage in Haiti and in other parts of the Caribbean, they are developing short, medium, and long term plans of how to respond.  With much of the damage in Haiti occurring in rural communities, organizations are considering how to respond with seeds and trees so to help the agriculture sector rebound.  In agriculture there are crops that produce in the short term (various vegetables, beans, etc.), medium term (bananas/plantains, yams, cassava, etc.) and long term (fruit/forestry trees) that can be part of the response planning.  How to properly respond will depend on various factors such as access to land, available seeds/seedlings, time of year, available water (irrigation or rain fed), soil salinity (often an issue after storm events near the ocean), and cultural preferences.