Technical briefs - agriculture

Agricultural production in many parts of the world is carried out on a small-scale by farmers. Relatively small  improvements in agricultural practice can have a bit impact on yield and dramatically improve the life of a  farmer and his or her family.

Adapting rice to saltier conditions

Rice is one of the major crops used in the developing world. Where the salinity of the soil is a problem indigenous varieties of rice can be used to develop salt tolerent crops.

Cement Mortar Jar

How to build a cement mortar jar and the required material is described.

Dead level contours

Dead level contours have storage underground tanks made from local materials to avoid the loss of water after harvesting it.

Floating gardens

In Bangladesh farmers build rafts out of bamboo and water hyacinth so they can grow their crops even when it floods.

Human powered hand pumps

The basic features of a variety of human powered hand pumps and their potential uses are described.


Micro-irrigation is a system of irrigation used where water is really scarce as it wastes less water compared to other more conventional irrigation systems.

Pumpkin Water Tank

The history as well as the technical details of the water tank are described. It is also explained how to build a pumpkin tank.

Treadle pump

Pumpkin growing using sand bar cropping

Pumpkins can be grown on the barren sandbars created by river deposits in Bangladesh, providing a livelihood for marginalised farmers.

Rain water harvesting

Rainwater harvesting is an alternative, affordable way to collect water in many areas of the world where conventional water supply systems are not available.

Rainwater Harvesting in Uganda

The basic goal of the project in Uganda is to promote a cheap and effective way of harvesting rainwater as a means of relieving food shortages. The project and the design of the systems used are described.

Sand dams

The principles and advantages of sand dams are described, as well as the reason they are needed.

The Underground Brick Dome Tank

The system of the tank was introduced due to the difficulties faced in bringing water to a community in a conventional manner. It is described how to install a brick dome tank.

Underground Rainwater Harvesting

The process of building and installing a underground rainwater storage is explained.

Bee keeping

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