We were privileged to have Dr. James Brewbaker as a speaker at our annual conference in November 2007. As a plant breeder at the University of Hawaii, Dr. Brewbaker has devoted many years of scholarly research to the leucaena tree and to sweet corn. He has always had a strong interest in ways that his work can benefit smallholder farmers. This article will highlight seeds he donated to ECHO’s seed bank, along with key points from his presentations, his conversations with ECHO staff, and his publications.
According to a New Scientist article in 2007, up to 52 per cent of anti-malarial tablets sold across the region including Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Burma and Thailand contain no artesunate (a drug made by slightly altering artemisinin so that it is soluble and can be given by injection as well as by mouth). Fake drugs are being seen in Africa, probably coming from these same sources.
The technique described in this article is very practical and applicable in certain situations. For example, it is becoming very useful for us here in Gamboula, Central African Republic (CAR), to produce planting material to distribute to our agroforestry cooperatives. It would also be helpful as a method to rapidly multiply disease resistant cultivars that could take years to establish and multiply in an area if using traditional means of multiplication.
Stick small seed crops to a piece of newspaper with white wood glue. You can do this in a strip or on little pieces. Then you take this and stick it into a little slot in the soil. It works great. The glue dissolves and seeds germinate.
There is a huge difference in yield between FGW and traditional methods.