Research posters are effective visual tools that help present information in concise and interpretive ways. Yearly at ECHO's International Agriculture Conference, posters that pertain to tropical agriculture and development are presented by ECHO staff and conference delagates. These include research summaries, crop evaluations, development project summaries and more. If you are interested in submitting a poster for this upcoming conference, please see the poster session and guidelines. Posters may be submitted for review at any time and will be displayed on ECHO Community if approved.
24 Issues in this Publication (Showing issues - 2018)
Covenant College, Care of Creation Kenya
Research conducted by Care of Creation Kenya (CCK) among women in Kijabe, Kenya concluded that using inefficient and open cookstoves resulted in adverse health effects for the entire family, safety hazards while cooking in the kitchen and while collecting firewood, strained familial relationships, and a lack of time to fulfill other social obligations. The fireless cooker proved to be an effective, simple, and affordable tool for addressing these and other issues that often accompany those living in poverty.
A fireless cooker goes by many names including hay box, straw box, insulation cooker, and retained-heat cooker. It is a simple technology that utilizes the heat of the food being cooked to complete the cooking process or keep food warm. The fireless cooker can be insulated by cheap, local materials such as banana leaves, old clothes, grass, straw, agricultural waste, or a more expensive recycled polystyrene material.
The integration of livestock on a smallholder farm is key to its productivity. Livestock play a unique role on the farm, transforming plant materials and other waste products into important sources of protein, either for consumption on the farm, or for sale beyond it. Pigs are one of the most efficient in this sense, as they are omnivores, and will eat a wide variety of food types, making them excellent ‘waste disposal’ partners.
On the ECHO Asia Farm we seek to create our own ‘Farm-Generated Feeds’ in order to use the materials we have available on the farm, as well as to bring down our costs of production. In addition to the meat produced, we also highly value the manure, which we compost and use in crop production. To make our feeds we our most readily available resource, banana stems. These are fermented to break them down and used as a base for our pig feeds, being mixed with various other low-cost raw materials that are locally available, including rice bran, corn meal, and fish meal, etc…
Given the proper facilities necessary to store seeds long-term, whereby low temperature and low humidity are kept stable over time, it is very possible to store most orthodox seeds for several years at a time in the tropics (Harrington, 1972). Unfortunately, implementation and maintenance of the proper facilities can be very costly. Thankfully, many diverse options currently exist, from expensive, high-tech facilities down to low-cost, low-maintenance models. At ECHO, we operate our own range of seed storage facilities at our various seed banks around the world.
Feed the Future - Presented at the 2019 EIAC
• Soil carbon sequestration is a sustainable solution to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions
• Carbon sequestered in the soil has a positive impact on soil health while helping to
combat global warming. Soils rich in organic carbon are more productive and able to play
the contributing role to ecosystem services
• Carbon stored in the soil contributes to various soil functions including biomass
production, water retention and filtration, and biodiversity maintenance
Joshua Spitaleri, Taya Brown, & Adam Cobb - Presented at the 2019 EIAC
Smallholder coffee farmers struggle with several key challenges in growing, harvesting, processing, and moving their products to market. Promising strategies and potential interventions were identified via focus group research. This involved members of the smallholder coffee farming associations in the San Pedro Yepocapa region in Guatemala.
Noah Elhardt - Beersheba Project, Senegal
The modern poultry industry has made huge strides in the efficiency and productivity of chicken operations, with hybrid broiler chickens reaching 2.26 kg (5lbs) in as little as 5 weeks. To achieve this, genetics, temperature, humidity, light, biosecurity, and nutrients are all meticulously controlled, while potential diseases are kept at bay with antibiotics. These operations can be very profitable, but also smell bad and carry significant environmental and health risks.
For many small scale farmers, the environmental control necessary for success with these types of operations is unattainable. In Senegal, small flocks are routinely wiped out by disease, heat stress, or other factors. Here we present an alternative system originating in Korea.
How does farming expand a spiritual leader’s understanding of self, faith and vocation?
How does farming expand a spiritual leader’s understanding of creation, people and culture?
Root-knot nematodes invade crop roots, form galls, and steal plant nutrients causing 125 billion dollars of crop loss worldwide (Ara and Hossain, 2011). Biological control methods such as compost, yard waste, and organic fertilizers can release nematicidal compounds as they decompose (McSorley, 2011). Coffee grounds are high in nitrogen, similar to other organic amendments that reduce galling from nematodes (Cooperband, 2002). When decomposing, coffee grounds release potentially-nematicidal compounds such as caffeine, tannins, and polyphenols (Yamane et al, 2014).
Natural farming techniques have been heavily promoted in ECHO’s Asia network. The aim of these techniques is to reduce reliance on chemical inputs by enriching soils with beneficial microorganisms. Soil microbes break down organic matter, releasing nutrients for uptake by crop roots. They also enhance soil structure, helping soil particles stick together.
Indigenous microorganisms (IMO) are cultured from naturally occurring soil life. Derived from native soil, IMOs can be made by farmers themselves. The mix of organism present, however, can vary depending on location and seasonal conditions. Effective microorganisms (EM) is a commercially available product with a mix of laboratory- cultured microorganisms. An advantage of EM, therefore, is a consistent mix of microbial life.
Microbial amendments are usually added along with compost or plant-based mulch. It is often unclear as to whether the benefit to crops is from the IMO or EM versus the added organic material. There is a need for long-term research on the effectiveness of IMO and EM, as well as information on affordable ways to quantify the effects of amendments on soil biology.
Grain sorghum(Sorghum bicolor)and pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum)are both globally important warm-season,annual cereal grain crops.Small-scale farmers who grow these grains can belimited by access to fertilizers and human labor. Agricultural low input systems use few commercial inputs, alternative nutrient sources, and weed suppression methods that can save labor.
Living mulch is a cover crop that is not killed before planting the target crop. Instead, it is maintained as a ground cover throughout and between growing seasons. Perennial rhizoma peanut (Arachis glabrata; PP) is a warm-season, nitrogen-fixing legume used as a living mulch in citrus and vegetable production systems. A stand of PP is low-growing and can remain established for many years, so it is a good living mulch candidate.
When multiple plants exist in an agricultural system, species compete for limited sunlight, moisture, and nutrients. Selecting a seedbed preparation method to suppress PP living mulch before planting sorghum or millet is a vital planning step to reduce competition and improve grain yields.