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Useful Links for Asia
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ECHO Asia’s Web-based Technical Resource Page

Information and sources listed on this page may include:

  • Downloads (PDF files requiring Adobe Software for viewing) of documents, slide shows, manuals and other material related to a wide range of agricultural and community development topics. Much of the information has been provided by various ECHO Asia development partners as well as regional research and educational institutions.
  • Links to web-based information (web sites and downloads) of relevance to development workers in the Asia/Pacific Region.

Information included on this page was chosen due to its:

  • Regional agricultural and community development importance (based on technical response questions and recommendations from ECHO Asia’s partners).
  • Relative ease of accessibility via the internet.

While ECHO Asia’s intention is to offer convenient access to information that is helpful, factual and practical, we do not accept responsibility for any possible negative consequences or results that might fail to meet the expectations of those experimenting and otherwise considering the adoption of techniques and methodologies listed on this site.

Links to Useful Technical Web Sites:

Access to Asian Vegetables Thesaurus

[ Link ] - This on-line thesaurus, hosted by the Department of Primary Industries for the state of Victoria, Australia, provides different regional language names (in the Latin alphabet) of 74 key Asian vegetables, a few of which are accompanied by photographs.

Backyard Aquaponics

[ Link ] Backyard Aquaponics, a company based in Western Australia, offers a very informative website, including pages of basic information related to designs, fish breeds, plants and other topics related to aquaponics. For instance, the following link connects to the aquaponics designs page that offers a helpful overview of aquaponic systems based on media filled grow beds [ Link ].

The Border Green Energy Team (BGET)

The BGET ([ Link ]) provides hands-on appropriate technology training and financial support to village innovators in ethnic minority areas on both sides of the Thai/Burma border. BGET’s Knowledge Base ([ Link ]) offers a wealth of technical downloads in English and Thai related to renewable energy technologies for difficult locations in Southeast Asia including:

  • Bio Gas ([ Link ])
  • Solar: Thai Solar Home Systems
  • General Border Solar
  • Hydraulic Ram Pumps
  • Micro-Hydro: BGET has filmed the installation process in various locations with related videos posted on YouTube. The following links include micro-hydro work at Mae Wei [ Link 1][ Link 2 ], another 500-watt system at Mae Klang Luang [ Link ], and the Kre Ki hydropower project [ Link ].

Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR Centers) Websites

The CGIAR ([ Link ]) is a strategic alliance of members, partners and international agricultural centers that mobilizes science to benefit the poor. Their mission is to achieve sustainable food security and reduce poverty in developing countries through scientific research and research-related activities in the fields of agriculture, forestry, fisheries, policy, and environment.

The following CGIAR Center web sites offer access to extensive collections of resources of potential interest and benefit to development practitioners in Asia.

  • Biodiversity International - [ Link ] BI is the operating name of the International Plant Genetic Resource Institute (IPGRI) and the International Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantain (INIBAP). The organization is "dedicated solely to the conservation and the use of agricultural biodiversity.” The website offers free downloads of its latest publications, including Geneflow, a magazine about agricultural biodiversity.
  • International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) – CIAT’s mission is to reduce hunger and poverty, and improve human health in the tropics through research aimed at increasing the eco-efficiency of agriculture. CIAT offers an extensive catalogue of publications (for purchase as well as free downloads) accessible via [ Link ].
  • CIAT’s Asia regional page, [ Link ], provides access to an extensive holding of free downloads covering a wide range of health and poverty/hunger alleviation topics with an Asian focus.

    Previously, CIAT offered the CIAT in Asia Research for Development Series (CARDS), a book series aimed specifically at providing research information to agricultural development workers in a format that is readily accessible to them. According to CIAT, all language versions of the books (currently English, Indonesian, Lao Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese and soon to include Burmese and Khmer) are available from the CIAT office in Vientiane. Individuals and organizations from both developing and developed countries may request a free hardcopy of each of the books. Orders for multiple copies are sold at US$5 per copy (which includes postage).Downloadable English versions of the CARDS series include:

    • Developing agricultural solutions with smallholder farmers — How to get started with participatory approaches [ Link ]
    • Developing forages with smallholder farmers - how to grow, manage and use forages [ Link ]
    • Developing forages with smallholder farmers - how to select the best varieties to offer farmers in Southeast Asia [ Link ]
  • International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) – Philippine-based IRRI and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) offer the Cereal Knowledge Bank (CKB), [ Link ]. Advertised as "the world’s leading repository of extension and training materials related to cereal and cereal production,” the CKB provides an on-line service to people working to improve the well-being of poor cereal farmers and consumers.
  • World Agroforestry Centre – The mission of the World Agroforestry Centre, [ Link ], is to "generate science-based knowledge about the diverse roles that trees play in agricultural landscapes, and use its research to advance policies and practices that benefit the poor and the environment.” Based in Nairobi, the World Agroforestry Centre also has five regional offices located in Africa and Asia. WAC’s Southeast Asia web page offers a collection of regionally relevant publications ([ Link ]), including Kiprah Agroforestri ([ Link ]), an Indonesian-language agroforestry periodical.

Environmental Bamboo Foundation

The Environmental Bamboo Foundation ([ Link ]) is based in Bali. Related to practical bamboo procedures, the foundation’s website offers the downloadable Vertical Soak DiffusionTreatment Manual (click on the Treatment Manual link on the home page).

International Development Enterprises

The mission of IDE, [ Link ], is to create income opportunities for poor rural households. Downloads related to various technologies being promoted by IDE (treadle pumps, rope pumps, water storage systems) include a very informative drip irrigation manual that can be accessed here: [ Download ]

FAO Corporate Document Repository

[ Link ]This on-line resource offers a selection of hundreds of food security focused documents (most of which in English) classified under several main headings that include crop and livestock production systems, fisheries and aquaculture management as well as sustainable natural resources management.In content, these documents range from research papers, case studies and project reports to technical papers and training manuals, some of which are intended for grassroots audiences (one example is the FAO’s Handbook on small-scale freshwater fish farming [ Link ]).

Faith and Sustainable Technologies

[ Link ] The stated purpose of this web site is "to share the vision and progress of Faith and Sustainable Technologies (F.A.S.T.) and provide information to those doing similar work to break the cycle of poverty and dependence prevalent in the developing world.”

This website offers useful technical links and downloads for technical publications from various sources related to subjects such aquaponics, aquaculture, animal husbandry and vetiver grass. One of the most helpful resources is the free Barrel-Ponics instruction manual written by Travis Hughly (President of F.A.S.T.). This manual, offering an abundance of descriptive images, effectively shows how to build a simple and productive barrel-ponics system using common plumbing fittings and plastic barrels. To access two versions of the manual, click on the following links:

(large version)
(smaller version)

International Biochar Initiative

[ Link ] International Biochar Initiative is a registered non-profit that offers technical support related to "sustainable biochar production and utilization systems that remove carbon from the atmosphere and enhance the earth’s soils." This site offers a wide range of biochar resources including an informational agricultural extension service available to IBI network members. The IBI publications page [ Link ] offers links to various biochar publications including fact sheets, research summaries information papers and a very detailed field trials guide.

Low External Input and Sustainable Agriculture (LEISA) Network

The LEISA Network’s purpose is to share success stories of small-scale farmers and to exchange knowledge and information on sustainable, small-holder farming around the world.

The network publishes seven magazines: a global edition and six regional editions. Readers (farmers, field workers, researchers, policy makers) are provided with accounts of practical experiences on sustainable small-holder farming. LEISA also offers debate, background information to the news, and information on books and websites.

Besides offering an English version of its magazine Farming Matters, the LEISA site also offers PDFs of this publication in languages from the following nations:

Meribah Ram Pump

Meribah Ram Pump ([ Link ]), based in Thailand, offers appropriate technology products (ram pumps and bio sand water filters) and related expertise. A downloads page, [ Link ], on Meribah’s website offers plans and other information related to building and installing ram pumps and bio sand water filters.

National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute(Laos)

This Laos-based organization offers a number of technical resources in both Lao and English including Improving Livelihoods in the Uplands of the Lao PDR: A Sourcebook. [ Link ] A compendium of best practices, lessons learned and experiences gained by practitioners, the Lao Uplands Sourcebook was developed in order to provide field level extension workers, educators and students better access to the wealth of information and experiences in uplands resource management in Lao PDR.

Portions of each chapter of both Volume 1: Initiatives and Approaches and Volume 2: Options and Opportunities are downloadable, covering topics related to:

  • Annual and perennial crops
  • Livestock and fisheries
  • Forests and natural resources management

Seed Banking Resources

Excellent Community Seedbanking Link: [ Link ]/

Link to Handbook for Genebanks: [ Link ]

ICRISAT Manual on Seed Storage: [ Link ]

ICRISAT Manual on Seed Processing: [ Link ]

SRI Homepage/System of Rice Intensification

The SRI Homepage/System of Rice Intensification website ([ Link ]), a joint collaboration of Association Tefy Saina and CIIFAD, offers a wealth of SRI-related material, particularly on its "SRI Practical and AV Material” page ([ Link ]).

Downloadable English manuals include How to Help Rice Plants to Grow Better and Produce More: Teach Yourself and Others, the original SRI manual developed jointly by CIIFAD and Tefy Saina. Additionally, SRI - Achieving More with Less: A New Way of Rice Cultivation, offers a well illustrated overview of SRI. Among Asian language manuals available on the same page is a Thai SRI publication (Thai SRI manual) compiled by the Agricultural Extension Unit at the McKean Rehabilitation Center in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Also available is an Indonesian language PDF file, Menembus Batas Kebuntuan Produksi: Cara SRI dalam budidaya padi, as well as SRI manuals in various South Asian languages, including Nepali, Oriya, Telugu and Tamil.

For added visual effect, several SRI-related slide presentations may also be downloaded via the "SRI Practical and AV Material” webpage. These include CEDAC's experiences with SRI: 2000-2007 by Dr. Yang Saing Koma and Increasing Water Savings while Raising Rice Yields with the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), by Dr. Norman Uphoff.

Tropical Forages: An Interactive Selection Tool

The Tropical Forages website ([ Link ]) is a collaborative effort between CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Department of Primary Industries & Fisheries (Qld), Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).

The website is designed to enable agricultural researchers and extension workers to better select appropriate forage species for local conditions in the tropics and subtropics.  The website’s features include:

  • A feature to help identify forage species suitable for different climates, soils, production systems and management via a selection tool built on LUCID™.
  • Factsheets providing comprehensive information for almost 200 forage species with details of adaptation, uses and management of forage species, cultivars and elite accessions.
  • Images of the plants and their use
  • A search engine for a comprehensive database of scientific references with abstracts.

Vetiver Network International

[ Link ] The mission of the Vetiver Network International (TVNI) is to promote the worldwide use of the Vetiver System (VS) for a sustainable environment particularly in relation to land and water. Enhanced by photo galleries, this site offers a wealth of information with regard to vetiver applications including agriculture improvement, soil erosion control and disaster mitigation. Additionally, the site offers other helpful resources such as related publications and international sources of vetiver plants. For easy access to videos, slide shows, newsletter, training manuals, etc., check out the What’s New page [ Link ]/a> .

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