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This collection of Tech Notes brings together those Notes which will be most helpful in determining useful best practices for the tropical small farm.



  1. In every region of the world it is necessary to find or develop appropriate techniques for agriculture. A large part of the surface of the world is arid, characterized as too dry for conventional rain fed agriculture. Yet, millions of people live in such regions, and if current trends in...
  2. Key Resource 1992-01-20 In simplest language, agroforestry is the production of trees and of non-tree crops or animals on the same piece of land. The crops can be grown together at the same time, can be grown in rotation, or can even be grown in separate plots when materials from one are used to benefit another....
  3. Key Resource 2010-07-01 Fish farming can generate high interest and excitement. It has great potential to produce high quality protein in relatively short time periods and in small areas. Fish farming is one way that resource-poor farmers throughout the world can provide protein that is too expensive to purchase and is...
  4. Key Resource 1993-06-01 During the course of each year a number of individuals working in community development spend some days studying and planning at ECHO. In reality their felt need is not so much for a bit more knowledge (study), but for a project plan for how they are going to proceed to help local farmers. A...
  5. Key Resource 2010-01-01 For many years, conventional Western forestry methods have been applied, and exotic tree species promoted in Sahelian countries in order to combat desertification. Large and small projects were commissioned to curtail the assumed southward movement of the Sahara desert, but few made any lasting...
  6. Key Resource 2010-01-01 Farming communities in the semi-arid tropical regions of Africa are becoming particularly vulnerable and face enormous challenges for their survival. Climate change, diminishing and unreliable rainfall, traditional mono culture cropping farming practices, high population growth, frequent famines...
  7. Key Resource 2011-01-01 Lack of food security is one of the biggest challenges that Central Africans face each day as they toil in their gardens, trying to produce enough food to simply feed their families and afford other expenses in life such as health care or schooling for their children. Main factors limiting...
  8. Key Resource 2012-01-01 Asia makes up less than one third (30%) of the world’s land area and yet carries over half (56%) of the world’s population. Moreover, the average population density of Asia becomes a significant long-term problem when food production is considered. Some countries in Asia have a population density...
  9. Key Resource 2012-01-01 Dawn Berkelaar, working with Dr. Martin Price and Danny Blank, featured this farming system inEDN 98. At that time, the technique was known as “Farming God’s Way” (FGW). Subsequently, the name was changed to “Foundations for Farming” (FFF); however, it continues to also be promoted as FGW. FGW...
  10. Key Resource
    2010-06-01 Seeds naturally have a place in almost any endeavor having to do with agricultural development. Seeds of most food plants are small and, as such, are more easily transported and can be shipped longer distances than vegetative cuttings. For the farmer, seeds represent the promise of a continued...
  11. Key Resource 2015-09-21 SRI involves the use of a combination of management practices that optimize growing conditions for rice plants, particularly in the root zone. It was developed in Madagascar in the early 1980s by Father Henri de Laulaníe, a Jesuit priest who spent over 30 years in that country working with...
  12. Key Resource 2013-01-01 The ECHO Asia Regional Office receives frequent inquiries from small organizations seeking input and other assistance relatedto their agricultural initiatives, including questions such as the following: How many acres would it take to grow enough food (other than rice) to feed 38 people year...
  13. Key Resource
    1998-01-01 This technical note is divided into two parts. The first section of this note focuses in on a new technology, called the ‘technology protection system’ by its developers and ‘terminator technology’ by its opponents. This technology illustrates the potential for patents to impact society at the...
  14. Key Resource 1996-01-01 What can a family do if the national unemployment rate is over 50%, wages are a dollar or two a day, prices of food are increasing and may at times be even higher than in the USA, they have neither savings nor credit and there is no governmental safety net? For many, an option of last resort is...
  15. Key Resource 1993-04-01 If the small farm is to be a permanent source of food for its owners, it must be managed in a sound fashion that provides a constant source of nutrients, fuel, construction materials, etc. without damage to the land or its productive capacity. Forage crops are important to the small farm as one...
  16. Key Resource So you want to help people in the tropics. Beautiful! The tropics are waiting for you. No matter what your abilities, you can make life better for others in the tropics. Your concern for the physical and spiritual well-being of people can be translated into fruitful service. Your first asset is...
  17. Key Resource 2007-01-01 Though nearly all plants are useful in some way, they are not equally valuable. For example, wheat, rice and corn may be considered the most valuable plants in the world based on the vast acreage planted to these crops, their vital role in feeding humankind, and their enormous economic value....

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