General Technical Documents

  1. This short document contains graphs that show how zero tillage leads to increased water infiltration and increased water retention in soil.
  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 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...
1 more General Technical Documents

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
49 more ECHO Development Notes (EDN)

ECHO West Africa Notes






  1. 2019-07-22 Le système de riziculture intensive (SRI) Qu'est-ce que le SRI ? Les étapes de mise en œuvre du SRI L'irrigation des plants Le sarclage et le sarclo-binage, quels sont les avantages ? Le rendement du SRI Etude comparée entre le SRI et la pratique traditionnelle de riziculture Intérêt du SRI...
  2. 2018-01-03 Techniques de production avicole traditionnelle epublication:Options de restauration des sols improductifsetOptions où l'eau est rare





  3. 2017-08-01 Foundations For Farming, an alternative for small-scale farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa How to prepare compost in 3 weeks? The preparation of organic liquid fertilizer eBook Release:Fundamentals of Agricultural Development epublication

ECHO Technical Notes






  1. 2019-03-21 This Technical Note provides an overview of parasitic plants of agricultural significance in Africa. Parasitic weeds cause drought stress and stunted crops. Affected plants include cereal grains (e.g., sorghum [Sorghum bicolor] and maize [Zea mays]) and grain legumes (e.g., cowpea [Vigna...





  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. 2017-09-29 As an organization that equips people with informational resources to reduce hunger, ECHO values the role of science in validating agricultural practices. Over the years, we have received numerous inquiries from university faculty and students looking for ways to do research that benefits...





  5. 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...
29 more ECHO Technical Notes

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. 2012-11-14 The UNCCD estimates that over 250 million people are affected by land degradation, and about 1 billion people in over 100 countries are at risk. According to the WMO, 33% of the world’s land surface is vulnerable to land degradation.Degraded lands lead to overall reduced productivity and reduced...

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. 2011-01-20 Smallholder pig rearing is becoming a resurgent interest area for both farmers and farmer advisers. With its helpful, practical and up-to-date advice on breeding, nutrition, housing and the management and economics of pig farming, this booklet provides you with all the information you need to...





  3. 2012-01-20 Access to clean water remains a priority in Africa, with improving access key to fighting water-borne disease. To facilitate such access in rural and peri-urban areas, this technical manual describes how to make a submerged hand pump from materials available locally. It aims particularly at...
17 more books





  1. Farmers in southern Niger have reclaimed 5 million hectares of land and increased food production by more than 500,000 tons per year by managing naturally-occurring trees and shrubs with Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR). The FMNR movement began in the early 1980s, and in recent years...





  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.
134 more links

Presentations




  1. 2016-09-28 Face aux dangers que fait courir l’usage excessif des pesticides de synthèse sur la santé humaine, de plus en plus de producteurs ont recours à des solutions biologiques pour traiter les productions agricoles. Cette solution connait toutefois certaines limites dont l’une d’elle est son...



  2. 2016-09-29 Les petits fermiers sont dans un cycle infernal de pauvreté. Bien sûr leurs conditions de travail y est pour quelque chose, mais force est de reconnaitre que la pauvreté pourrait être aussi psychologique. Il s'agira donc dans cet exposé de proposer une série d'activité et de conduite à mesure...



  3. 2009-01-27 L'un des défis majeurs des producteurs est la bonne conservation de leurs productions jusqu'à la saison suivante. Parmi tant d'autres raison, l'on pourrait citer les méthodes traditionnelles de conservation. Dans cet exposé, il s'agira de donner les conseils pratiques aux producteurs pour leur...
20 more presentations

Plant Information Sheets

  1. Acacia angustissima grows as a thornless shrub or small tree to an average of 2-7 meters tall with a single short trunk. It is a legume, capable of fixing nitrogen in nodules on its roots if the appropriate strain of Rhizobium bacteria is present in the soil. It is often found in tropical...
  2. Acacia mangium can grow to be a tall tree up to 30 m. It is a fast-growing tree that can tolerate acidic and degraded soils. This tree grows best with moderate rainfall and full sunlight. It is one of the major leguminous species used in plantation forestry programs throughout Asia and the...
  3. 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...
36 more plant information sheets

Videos






  1. 2014-04-04 Cassava is a staple food for over 800 million people in approximately 80 countries, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, but also in Asia, the Pacific and South America. Cassava contains cyanogens, which protect against pests and predators by producing cyanide. So-called bitter varieties produce more...