Filtered by: Technology <Back to previous page Adding value through appropriate technologyMany women process food using traditional methods, which are often time-consuming. New technologies may improve processing, but are not always adopted, especially in rural areas. Although the technology seems appropriate to the people who design them (usually men), they are often not appropriate for the women who use them. Alternative fuelsCharlie Forst gives details of two cooking fuels which may be new to some readers. He works with ECHO, 17391 Durrance Road, North Fort Myers, FL 33917-2200, USA. Cleft grafting for mangoes and avocadosBy Mike and Isabel Carter. In Footsteps No. 5 the advantages of bud grafting citrus trees were discussed. These include: Controlling pests wiselyImagine you work as an agricultural extension agent and have to make decisions about pesticides. Pesticide companies may encourage you to use their products. Farmers will ask for advice. Government booklets may recommend a certain treatment. EditorialThis issue brings together a great variety of good, practical ideas, most of which have either been sent in by readers or have been requested. Most of these ideas cost very little to try out. We hope that all our readers will find something of interest in these pages. Simple technologies often encourage people to adapt ideas for their own use. Just because an idea works well in one situation does not mean it will be appropriate for every situation. Communities have their own sets of ... Footsteps onlineby Georgina Orchard. In 2002 we did a survey of Footsteps readership and learned valuable information about who is reading Footsteps and what they are using it for. We found that each copy has a wide impact. Most copies are shared with at least one other person, and a third are used regularly to train groups of up to 100 people. There is a full article on the survey in issue 50 of Footsteps (March 2002). Growing WallsThis is an interesting and very practical idea developed by Gösta Nilsson, the Director of Sanitas in Botswana. He has developed a container gardening system based on walls with built-in growing boxes, made of hollow concrete blocks. The blocks are made using a simple, hand-operated block-making machine. With such a machine, two persons can make 100 blocks a day from a mix of 1 part cement and 4 parts sand. This is the size block which is used at Sanitas, but blocks of similar size would be ... Maintaining soil fertilityCompiled by Isabel Carter. Soil used for growing crops must have plant nutrients and organic matter added in order to maintain the fertility and quality of the soil. Soil which is well cared for will continually produce good yields. If plant nutrients and organic matter are not added, soil will become exhausted after a few years, and yields will drop. Chemical fertilisers will add plant nutrients, but are expensive. The methods on this page are inexpensive and will add both plant nutrients and ... New banana hybridsSevere disease problems on bananas worldwide are making it increasingly difficult for smaller producers to continue cultivating this crop. An enthusiastic banana specialist has dedicated his life to working on producing excellent quality bananas, aimed at improving production and disease resistance for small banana producers. Now, five new hybrid plants are available from Honduras. They are all semi-dwarf, resistant to nematodes and most common diseases and are very productive: Palm nut oil pressCOMPETITION WINNER My design was originally based on machines made by Hander in Japan and UK. Partners in Plant Production Rhizobia and Mycorrhizaeby Mike Carter. Plants, like people and animals, need feeding. Plant nutrients (or foods) such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are needed for the growth and development of crops and trees. Farmers can add more of these nutrients to the soil by using manure, compost or artificial fertilisers. Power to the people: how one woman brought light to her community When Betty invested her self-help group loan in a solar panel she did more than just connect her village to electricity — she connected them to each… Producing neem oilNeem trees live for between 100 and 200 years, growing up to 30 metres high. They start producing fruit after a few years and become fully productive after ten years. Rain harvestersInformation in Footsteps has helped people build ferro-cement tanks for rainwater. However, many people need to know how they can avoid mosquitoes breeding in these tanks. Here are some practical steps I have developed to make a dome shaped cover… Renewable energy and your communityNearly 1.5 billion people around the world do not have access to electricity, particularly in rural areas. If you are thinking about starting a renewable energy project in your community, here are some things to consider. Selecting appropriate latrinesby Frank Greaves Why do so many latrine programmes not have their intended impact on the health of the community? In recent years there has been more emphasis on changing attitudes towards sanitation and hygiene, hygiene education and community ownership. But sometimes this has meant that little attention has been given to selecting appropriate latrine technologies. This article looks at how we can guide communities to select technically appropriate latrines, while at the same time ensuring ... Space technology on the farmBy Jim Rowland. Anything that grows requires food, water, an energy supply and space. This is true whether we are talking about humans (especially children!), livestock, trees or crops. Human beings grow best where there are plenty of these resources and struggle, or die where there are not enough. Poor soil and over-population produce famine. Technology for Garden Irrigationby Robert Lambert. Lifting and carrying water in buckets or cans to irrigate crops is very hard work and can take a lot of time. In Zimbabwe, some families spend up to 200 hours per month on this exhausting job. This can mean three to four hours every day for two or three people in the family. The only alternative presently available is a diesel or petrol pump - out of reach of most small farmers because of the high cost, the problems in obtaining fuel and spare parts and the ... The challenge of replacing firewood with green energy in AngolaWhen driving along the roads in southern Angola, you cannot miss them – hundreds of bags of charcoal and firewood being sold by women and sometimes… The hot potThe hot pot is an insulated cooking basket, which continues to cook food after removing it from the fire. It has several advantages: Urban or rooftop gardeningby Martin Price. Gardening is possible in small spaces as long as water (including waste water) is available. Grow vegetables that will add flavour and nutrients to the family diet. Herbs, onions, tomatoes, peppers and dark green leafy vegetables such as spinaches are ideal.