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close this bookAmaranth to Zai Holes, Ideas for Growing Food under Difficult Conditions (ECHO; 1996; 397 pages)
View the documentOther ECHO publications
View the documentAbout this book
View the documentAcknowledgements
Open this folder and view contents1: Basics of agricultural development
Open this folder and view contents2: Vegetables and small fruits in the tropics
Open this folder and view contents3: Staple crops
Open this folder and view contents4: Multipurpose trees
Open this folder and view contents5: Farming systems and gardening techniques
Open this folder and view contents6: Soil health and plant nutrition
Open this folder and view contents7: Water resources
Open this folder and view contents8: Plant protection and pest control
Open this folder and view contents9: Domestic animals
Open this folder and view contents10: Food science
Open this folder and view contents11: Human health care
close this folder12: Seeds and germplasm
View the documentECHO's seedbank
View the documentStoring seed
View the documentGermination and propagation
View the documentSeed production and sources
Open this folder and view contents13: Energy and technologies
Open this folder and view contents14: From farm to market
Open this folder and view contents15: Training and missionary resources
Open this folder and view contents16: Oils
Open this folder and view contents17: Above-ground (urban) gardens
View the document18: What is ECHO?
View the documentAdditional ECHO publications
Open this folder and view contentsECHO development notes - issue 52
Open this folder and view contentsECHO development notes: issue 53
Open this folder and view contents28 additional technical notes about tropical agriculture
Open this folder and view contentsPrinciples of agroforestry
Open this folder and view contentsGood nutrition on the small farm
 

12: Seeds and germplasm

Many people's first thought about ECHO is "seeds." Our seedbank specializes in little- known plants with great potential to provide food under difficult growing conditions. We also have several improved varieties of common plants. Each year we distribute hundreds of trial seed packets to development workers who grow them in their own gardens. If the plants produce well and are accepted, they may harvest the seed and distribute it in the community. In this way, a community in one part of the world may benefit from the plants of another region to which they might otherwise not have access.

Plant introduction through seeds and germplasm (living tissue that can be grown into a plant) holds tremendous promise for improving nutrition and food production. This book contains information on many such plants which can thrive in poor soils, drought, and other stresses. There are also dangers and risks in plant introduction about which we need to be aware. This chapter discusses working with underexploited plants, seeds and other germplasm, and seed production and sources.

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