ECHOcommunity Updates

Bike-powered Appropriate Technology featured in Smithsonian Magazine 2015-04-20

The coffee team from IDDS Tanzania was highlighted in Smithsonian Magazine this month with a story about how a self-taught Tanzanian inventor, nonprofit workers, and MIT students collaborated on a potentially life-changing tool for coffee growers.

Small-scale farmers find themselves at a disadvantage in the market due to competition from commercial growers. With current hand-crank systems the physical effort and time it takes to shell their raw coffee cherries means the average farmer will work harder for less return than their competition.

Building on the Appropriate Techonology ideal of “use what you have, make what you need” this machine is made with readily available parts that can be repaired or replaced affordably.

"There is an overwhelming availability of bike parts in the local area. Whatever they created could be built and fixed locally."

-- Lauren McKown Communications coordinator for the MIT International Development Innovation Network (IDIN).

The team initially focused on identifying the areas of production and processing that would be most effective, appropriate and sustainable. One concern was that the value of bicycles for transportation could undermine widespread adoption.

“With the hand-powered tool, farmers are able to pulp about 33 pounds of coffee cherries every ten minutes. In tests with the bike-powered machine, the same task took just two minutes. Beyond energy and time savings, the machine has an added benefit in that it gets other members of the community involved in coffee production. Now, women and children are able to shell the coffee cherries quickly and efficiently.”

Read the entire article at SmithsonianMag.com ]

Other bicycle and bicycle-part powered Appropriate Technologies:

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Upcoming events

ECHO Asia Philippines Sustainable Food Production Workshop
Tue, 12 May 2015 » Thu, 14 May 2015

The Aloha House and Natural Farm, Philippines

This event features wide range of workshops covering topics such as: Natural Resource Management,  Soil Fertility of Tropical Soils, Foliar Fertilizers, Small-Scale Livestock Production, Perennial Vegetables of the Tropics, Aquaponics, the System of Rice Intensification, Mushroom Production for Profit, Intensive Nursery Management, Dairy Processing, and more. All participants will participate in a seed exchange and receive a tour of the Aloha Farm.

Tropical Agricultural Development I: The Basics
Mon, 1 June 2015 » Fri, 5 June 2015

ECHO Campus, United States

Those interested in preparing for short/long-term involvement in agricultural development internationally  are encouraged to participate in this one-week course held four times a year. Course participants will gain an introduction to aspects of poverty and community development and an orientation to ECHO. They will also receive instruction on proven agricultural principles/practices and practical techniques, systems and technologies to meet agricultural and nutritional needs of small-scale, i...

Tropical Agricultural Development II - Gardening in the Tropics
Mon, 22 June 2015 » Fri, 26 June 2015

ECHO Campus, United States

This intermediate class is geared toward experienced overseas workers with involvement in agricultural development or those who have participated in Tropical Agricultural Development I. This is a week-long course offered which includes a combination of small classroom instruction, hands-on work on the farm, visits with staff, and study in the library. Much of the course content is presented from a biblical perspective. Who should take this course: Those who wi...

Tropical Agricultural Development I: The Basics
Mon, 27 July 2015 » Fri, 31 July 2015

ECHO Campus, United States

Course Description: Those interested in preparing for short/long-term involvement in agricultural development internationally  are encouraged to participate in this one-week course held four times a year. Course participants will gain an introduction to aspects of poverty and community development and an orientation to ECHO. They will also receive instruction on proven agricultural principles/practices and practical techniques, systems and technologies to meet agricultural and nutritional nee...

Tropical Agriculture Development II: Appropriate Technology
Mon, 17 August 2015 » Fri, 21 August 2015

ECHO Campus, United States

This intermediate class is geared toward experienced overseas workers with involvement in agricultural development or those who have participated in Tropical Agricultural Development I. This is a week-long course offered at the ECHO farm in North Fort Myers, Florida. Course attendees will participate in an in-depth look at new and different subjects that will be announced after the first of the year. This course is a combination of small classroom instruction, hands-on work on the farm, visit...