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 These resources may or may not be published by ECHO, but have been made available to the ECHOcommunity as online, sharable resources.

27 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.

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.

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.

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.

Maize Armyworm and Stalk Borer Scouting - 2018-04-20

The introduction of Fall Armyworm (FAW) (Spodoptera frugiperda) to Africa in 2016 has raised concerns of possible widespread damage of maize and other crops. Stalk borers are a common pest of maize throughout Africa, causing modest damage virtually every year. Armyworms, on the other hand, can devastate maize and other crops if not controlled at a young age. Because of this big difference in damage potential, it is important to identify these pests early in their life cycle.

Livestock to Markets (L2M) - Action Plan - 2018-03-08

This is an ACTION PLAN based on participation of representatives from three East Africa countries in the L2M Working Group. The group developed a common framework to guide their discussion and understanding of all the elements that influence the development of a Livestock to Markets Business among pastoralist communities. They will use this as a benchmark for their commitment and actions in their respective countries over the next two years.