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 These resources may or may not be published by ECHO, but have been made available to the ECHOcommunity as online, sharable resources.

21 Issues in this Publication (Showing 1 - 10)

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.

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.

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.

Building the Bank

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

Appropriate Construction Technologies for Community Development

Geoffrey Wheeler, Center for Vocational Building Technology

Appropriate Construction Technologies for God's People, their Animals and Grain There are many appropriate building technologies available. How environmental friendly are they? Earthquake resistant? Typhoon resistant? How can we introduce new materials to a traditional construction culture? Why would we want to produce our own materials? How can we make production accessible to women? In what cases does it make sense to use a new technology? We'll consider interlocking compressed earth blocks, micro concrete roofing tiles, rice husk ash cement, bamboo and more.

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.

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.

Moringa oleifera f-sand Filters for Sustainable Water Purification - 2017-11-22

ABSTRACT: Environmental Science & Technology, 2017

The purpose of this work is to determine parameters for the design of a Moringa seed sand filter for water purification. Moringa oleifera seeds containing cationic antimicrobial proteins have been used as natural coagulants for the removal of turbidity; however, a low removal efficiency and high residual organic levels limit their applications. In this work, Moringa seed extracts were used to reverse the charge of sand ( fsand) to 10 mV at a seed dosage of 5.6 g of seeds/m2 of sand. This f-sand filter demonstrated ∼4 log removal of 1 μm polystyrene particles and >8 log removal of Escherichia coli compared to <0.1 log removal for bare sand. Enhanced removal for particles and E. coli was dominated by attractive electrostatic interactions. Clean bed filtration modeling predicts a sticking coefficient (α) of 0.8 for f-sand compared to a value of 0.01 for bare sand. This α was further validated under a wide range of filtration conditions. Preliminary scale-up analyses suggest a point-of-use f-sand filter that requires a very small amount of seeds annually. The outcome of this work presents the scientific basis for the design of a water purification solution for developing regions, requiring only locally available resources and no use of synthetic chemicals or electricity.

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.