Saturday, January 22, 2011

Three-Day Tropical Agriculture Workshop

Over 35 persons from Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, the Philippines, Indonesia and beyond met in a simple training hall on the Partners Thailand farm just outside of Chiang Mai.  They were participating in the Three-Day Tropical Agriculture Workshop co-hosted by the ECHO Asia Regional Office and Partners Thailand from January 19-21, 2011. Participants gained hands-on training related to grafting fruit trees, the production of moringa and its products, soap making for development, natural farming of pigs and backyard mushroom production. Additionally, a vermiculture training session, led by Dr. Arnat Tancho, was held nearby on the campus of Mae Jo University.

Other sessions were led by Betsy Langford (former ECHO intern and currently a student at Chiang Mai University's SAIWAM Program), Partners personnel, Boonsong Thansrithong, Sombat Chalermliamthong and Dorothy Kahn, as well as myself.

Feedback from meeting participants indicated that the event was a success. Following this recent exchange of knowledge and skills related to agriculture and community development, I'm certain that participants will be extending what they have learned among their own local networks. Furthermore, I am excited about offering similar workshops for development workers in other Asian countries, beginning with Cambodia in 2012.

ECHO Asia is extremely grateful to Partners Thailand and Mae Jo University for their significant involvement in this event.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Favorite Photos from 2010

Goats being herded near Yangon

Young residents at a children's home outside Yangon
Palaung lady with lengths of cane (rattan) harvested from an agroforest plot
Cabbage fields in the Mae Chaem district of northern Thailand
Rice planting time near Chiang Mai
A hill field of corn and taro (northern Thailand)

September hill fields of upland rice, corn and beans (Chiang Dao, northern Thailand)

Tailgating the back of a banana truck in Guwahati, India
A farmhouse surrounded by moringa trees and rice fields in Assam, India
Checking out a SRI rice field in northeast India
Roadside fruit stand in Meghalaya, India
Roof top garden in Bangkok
Cambodian farm couple
Sunflower standing watch over hill fields along Thai-Burma border
Harvested rice in a hill field in Mae Ai, northern Thailand
Nighttime in Laos