Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization has released an agricultural resource book that could be key to helping combat world hunger.
ECHO is recognized worldwide as a resource entity in agriculture. Based in Fort Myers and with its Global Farm in North Fort Myers, its mission is to provide sustainable options to world hunger, with agricultural training, innovative options, and networking with community leaders and missionaries in 180 developing countries. ECHO seeks to find agricultural solutions for families growing food under difficult conditions.
The book, Agricultural Options for the Poor, features selected content from the first 100 issues of ECHO Development Notes, a quarterly technical bulletin targeted towards ECHO's international network of development workers.
Former intern Amy VanNocker and Dr. Tim Motis.
The book is filled with practical options for helping resource-poor, smallholder farmers and urban gardeners in the tropics and subtropics produce the food they need under the difficult growing conditions that they often face, said spokesperson Danielle Flood.
Agricultural Options for the Poor also contains material written by experienced practitioners on agricultural systems they have implemented in the field and that have been adopted by thousands of farmers.
"My entire team is excited to have completed this new book," said lead editor Dr. Tim Motis. "We feel this will be a valuable tool for those working with smallholder farmers overseas. It has information on farming practices that have proven successful under the difficult growing conditions that so many farmers face in the tropics and subtropics."
Agricultural Options For The Poor is the sequel to ECHO's first resource book, Amaranth to Zai Holes, published in 1996.
"You can get the book at our bookstore and online at echobooks.org," said Flood.
The ECHO Bookstore is at the Global Farm location on Bayshore Road, and contains a plethora of books on all things green.
"The ECHO Bookstore is a collection of hard to find resources for tropical gardeners in multiple languages," Flood said. "We have Creole, Portuguese, Spanish and more."
In April, the 200th intern arrived at ECHO, a milestone celebrated at the farm. The first intern arrived in August of 1981.
"We've had interns from all over the world," Flood said. "One from Kenya, one from New Zealand, others from England and Canada and all from all over the U.S. The one common denominator is that they are really dedicated to helping the poor."
ECHO's intern program is an agricultural training opportunity for college graduates to spend a year in North Fort Myers learning about tropical plants and sustainable development. Intern alumni are highly regarded in the world of International Development, Flood said. Many ECHO interns have served and are still serving overseas. The program is very competitive, with only 10 new interns chosen each year from among 80 applicants.
"Our interns are motivated and come from diverse backgrounds, all with the same goal."
ECHO is at 17391 Durrance Road in North Fort Myers. Hours for the bookstore are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.
Tours are offered Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 10 a.m. The cost is $10 for adults, $5 for kids 6-12 and under 6 free.
For additional information, call 543-3246 or visit echonet.org.