General Technical Documents

  1. This document distinguishes between ‘anchor’ cover crops (that are intercropped with a main crop such as maize) and ‘secondary’ cover crops (that don’t compete with the main crop because they have a short life cycle, and that can help cover the soil at the start of the growing season). The...
  2. Jack bean is an excellent plant for enriching soil, because it grows under very difficult conditions. However, the beans contain toxins that normally make them unsuitable for human consumption. This document describes how to germinate jack bean to remove the toxins and increase the beans’...
  3. In the Push-Pull system, crops that repel pests and/or attract pests’ predators are intercropped with maize, to ‘push’ pests away from the main crop. Plants that attract pests are planted around the field, to ‘pull’ pests away from the maize. Incorporating legumes in this system means that soil...
  4. Four nutrient deficiencies--phosphorus, potassium, nitrogen, and magnesium--can be diagnosed by observing maize leaves. This document includes photos of a healthy maize leaf and of maize leaves demonstrating each of these nutrient deficiencies. It also contains suggestions for how to address each...
  5. This short document contains graphs that show how zero tillage leads to increased water infiltration and increased water retention in soil.
2 more General Technical Documents

ECHO Research - Posters






  1. Some tropical crops contain cyanogenic glycosides, toxic substances that release hydrocyanic acid (HCN; also referred to as cyanide) when cells are crushed. Consuming these plants without cooking them can cause cyanide poisoning, with varying effects depending on cyanide levels and how long a...

ECHO Development Notes (EDN)






  1. 2019-07-24 Introducing 100-Fold Gardens: Wicking Beds for High-Density Planting of Vegetables Where Water is Scarce Echoes from our Netwok: Literacy and Agriculture and Termite Harvesting in Ghana From ECHO's Seed Bank: Earthbag Houses for Storing Seeds Books, Web Sites, and Other Resources: Restoring the...





  2. 2019-04-26 Learning about and from local seed systems Germination to Detoxify Jack Bean Techniques to Boost Plants’ Stress Tolerance and Extend Fruit Marketability From ECHO's Seed Bank: Fever Tree Books, Web Sites and Other Resources:Planetary Health Diet Proposal





  3. 2019-01-29 Understanding Agriculture-Nutrition Linkages EIAC 2018 Topic Summaries Echoes from our Network: Intercropping Native Shrubs From ECHO's Seed Bank: Rollinia Books, Web Sites and Other Resources: Feed the Future Technical Briefs





  4. 2018-10-17 Shea Nut: The Butter Tree For How Long Should Chaya Leaves be Boiled? Green Leafy Vegetables: Leaf Powder for Improved Nutrition From ECHO's Seed Bank: Jewels of Opar, An edible ornamental SPRINGNutrition-Sensitive Agriculture Training Resource Package





  5. 2018-07-18 Farmer Field School Trials of 2:4:2 Maize/Legume Intercropping Laurel Wilt Disease: "Save the Guac!" Echoes from our Network: Metal silos for grain storage From ECHO's Seed Bank: Culantro Let’s Restore Our Land andFarming for Change curriculum
93 more ECHO Development Notes (EDN)

Haitian Network Documents






  1. 2019-01-20 Reviewed by Dawn Berkelaar ECHO has an extensive network of agricultural experts working in diverse areas of production and development. Many members contribute to our various publications and resources, often writing or contributing to our existing documents. Some provide self-developed...

ECHO Technical Notes






  1. 2019-01-07 Two broad categories of seeds exist, referred to as recalcitrant and orthodox. The former must be kept moist and planted soon after they are collected; large-seeded fruits such as mango and avocado are typical examples. The second type of seeds are discussed in this document. Orthodox seeds are...





  2. 2018-05-17 Many plants deemed as invaluable for the smallholder farmer offer nutritious food for the family, fodder for animals, or timber for construction. Remarkably, bamboo offers all three of these assets from the same perennial plant! This Technical Note will focus on how to most effectively harvest,...





  3. 2018-02-09 Traditional diets included a wide variety of ingredients from myriad wild and domesticated plants. Regional cuisines were shaped by native species in their local environment and by gradually-adopted plants from distant places. The modern global food system and market pressures have reversed this...





  4. 2017-06-06 A version of this material first appeared in EDN 134. Gender dynamics in relation to agriculture is a big topic, and one we had not previously written about in EDN. In recent years, widespread attention has been paid to the disparity that often exists between men and women when it comes to...





  5. 2016-08-17 Farmers and gardeners in semi-arid and arid regions of the world face two associated but separate problems, which limit the crops they can grow and the yield of these crops. The underlying problem is lack of rainfall needed for growing plants. The second is accumulation of salts in the root zone....
29 more ECHO Technical Notes

ECHO Latin America and Caribbean Notes (LACN)






  1. 2018-02-22 Green Leafy Vegetables and Powders for Improved Nutrition in Honduras Member Highlight: Elioena Arauz,Artists for Soup, Nicaragua Echoes from our Network: Deep Litter System ECHO Resource Highlight: Green Leafy Vegetables Technical Note Spotlight: "Linking Smallholder Farmers to Markets"





  2. 2017-12-04 ECHO in Latin America and the Caribbean Experimenting with Medicinal Plants in Matagalpa, Nicaragua Staff Highlight Tech Note Spotlight: "Introducing new seeds overseas" Tech Note Spotlight: "Introduction to Tropical Root Crops" Echoes from our Network Resources: Wuqu' Kawoq (The Maya Health...





  3. 2017-07-31 Las Cañadas Agro-ecological Chickens Module Introducing New Team Leader: Cecilia Gonzalez Tech Note Spotlight: "Cafeteria Feeding" of Chickens From ECHO's Seed Bank: Ethiopian Kale Member Highlight: Javier Ignacio Silva Rivera Our Vision:Honoring God by Empowering the Undernourished with...





  4. 2017-03-30 Making Silage in Vichada Tech Note Spotlight: Biosand Water Filter Echoes from our Network: Member Highlight Adria and Job From ECHO's Technical Respose Team: Appropriate forage crops for clay soils From ECHO's Seed Bank: Forage peanut

ECHO Best Practice Notes






  1. 2017-05-26 By integrating legumes into cropping systems, small-scale farmers in low-resource settings can invest in the long-term health and resilience of their soils. Success or failure depends largely on choosing the right legume(s). With that in mind, this document presents insights on legume selection...





  2. 2016-09-28 Farmers in many parts of the world, because of human population growth, have little choice but to crop their land continuously, with scarce resources to replace nutrients withdrawn by each successive crop. Crop residues are often lost as a source of organic matter and mulch, usually through...





  3. 2016-03-22 Yearly production of grains, pulses, and vegetables depends on a reliable supply of quality seed. This is true for the farmer growing a crop to feed their family as well as for the agricultural worker evaluating and growing out seeds of a new crop species or variety that could improve lives. In...





  4. 2014-04-01 ECHO frequently receives questions from members of our network, asking how available land could be used to grow food and/or create income to augment an otherwise non-agricultural project. Broadly speaking, they are asking how to begin an institutional agriculture project—a coordinated agriculture...





  5. 2013-04-16 Smallholder farmers and agricultural development workers are reporting changes in climate. For example, during the 2012 ECHO Agricultural Workshop in Asia, 63 attendees representing at least 25 agriculture and community development organizations from across Myanmar were polled about their...
1 more ECHO Best Practice Notes

ECHO Summaries






  1. 2015-08-05 Good intentions and viable solutions will have little impact unless we engage with farmers in ways that are meaningful to them. Farmers put a great deal of confidence in what they learn from fellow farmers’ experiences, and they are more likely to trust what they see over what they hear....





  2. 2015-07-14 Workshops are an often-used and effective tool that extension workers can use to teach new skills to groups of farmers. This document, drawn from the USAID/MEAS Technical Note on Presenting Workshops to Adults, explains how a workshop setting differs from that of a classroom/teaching setting, and...





  3. 2015-05-19 A participatory learning approach, applied at each stage of a community development project, is crucial to reaching the level of stakeholder involvement needed for lasting, positive change. The use of participatory survey and planning methods in the development process encourages community...





  4. 2015-05-01 This article draws from the MEAS Brief # 2 Reducing the Gender Gap in Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services: How to Find the Best Fit for Men and Women Farmers. Many of the gender-related topics and lessons discussed in the MEAS Brief also apply to the transfer of knowledge and resources...





  5. 2015-04-30 This document draws from the MEAS brief #3Adaptation under the New Normal of Climate Change: The Future of Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services. Written for extension and advisory service providers, the MEAS brief contains insights helpful to practitioners working to develop strategies...
1 more ECHO Summaries

Books






  1. 2019-05-21 Smallholder farmers around the world face some of the harshest growing conditions globally, yet they produce the majority of the world’s food. Soils in these areas often lack nutrient and water holding capacities, due to erosion or poor soil structure. These obstacles can be staggering for...
  2. 2018-01-20 Recovering the traditional culinary knowledge of women in Latin America and the Caribbean for food biodiversity management and enhancement This document reflects the integrated vision of agrobiodiversity with the role of women as guardians and protectors of foods of high nutritional value. Rural...
  3. 2011-01-20 Presenting nutrition and biodiversity as a single issue is one of the main rationales of the Cross-Cutting Initiative on Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition, which is led by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with Bioversity International. The overall...
11 more books



  1. El “Acceso de las mujeres indígenas a la tierra, el territorio y los recursos naturales en América Latina y el Caribe”, elaborado por la Antropóloga Maya K’ichee’, Doctora y Maestra en Antropología Social Irma A. Velásquez Nimatuj, ofrece una panorámica regional sobre la temática junto con casos...





  2. Zamorano University digital library





  3. What is the Gateway to dairy production and products? A neutral platform that provides a wide range ofmaterialaboutmilk production and products in developing countries. The Gatewayallowsusers to shareinformation,videoandpicturestories, and experiences.
33 more links

Presentations




  1. 2016-09-29 Una propeusta real de una alternativa de vida, que incluye temas como organización social, producción de comida, cultivo de carbono, biconstrucción, uso de ecotechnologías, educatíon, economía alternative y conservación del bosque de niebla.





  2. 2016-09-29 Rancho Ebenezer es su metodología de desarrollo rural y alternativa para la producción doe alimentos de calidad nutricio y suguridad alimenticia a pequeña escala (1 manzana): MIDPA (Mayordomía Integral Diversificada de Patio)



  3. 2016-09-28 Contenido Introducción Antecedentes Impactos del cambio climático en la actividad apícola Estrategias de adaptación para la producción. Otros factores que van en detrimento de la actividad. La apicultura, es la práctica dedicada a la cría y explotación racional de las abejas, actividad...
14 more presentations

Plant Information Sheets

  1. Abelmoschus caillei originated and is now grown mostly in West and Central Africa, where it has become an important vegetable crop. This species of okra is particularly popular with subsistence farmers as it can produce a food crop year round, has a higher market value as it is available in the...
  2. Vegetable amaranths are mostly erect, annual plants, and are collected from the wild or cultivated in hot humid regions of Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. Several species of Amaranthus are grown for their protein-rich leaves and plant tops. The seeds of vegetable amaranths may be eaten but grain...
  3. Sugar apple is a drought-tolerant tree, growing to 6 m in height, and is the most widely grown of the Annonas. The sweet fruit is eaten fresh and can be used in beverages, ice cream and milkshakes.
69 more plant information sheets

Videos




  1. 2013-11-10





  2. 2013-09-24 In this short video we expose a little bit of the beauty and wealth of Guatemala as a Megadiverse country, and present Chaya as an ancient superfood to combat malnutrition today.



  3. 2017-10-05 WUQU’ KAWOQ - The Maya Health Alliance – ofrece soluciones innovadoras a problemas de salud persistentes en las comunidades pobres, desatendidas e indígenas de Guatemala. Maya Health Alliance representa una mezcla única de experiencia médica a nivel mundial, conocimiento de la cultura local,...
7 more videos