Compatible Technology International
Partnership period: July 2013 – July 2014
ACHIEVEMENTS: During the program partnership, Compatible Technology International (CTI) sold 86 threshers and 102 grinders to farmers and farmer cooperatives, reaching more than 1,000 smallholder households. Since then, CTI has sold hundreds more and is working with a local manufacturer to reduce the sales price, with a goal of reaching 16,200 individuals.
PURPOSE: Introduce the nonprofit’s pearl millet tools to Senegal’s smallholder farmers. CTI’s pearl millet tools are mechanical, hand-operated tools that include a manually operated stripper, thresher, winnower, and grinder that can process pearl millet from seed heads into clean, unbroken grain in minutes. The thresher alone allows users to process 1 kilogram of grain in less than half the time as threshing manually, resulting in close to zero grain loss.
APPROACH: With the help of an industrial designer, CTI’s team held farmer focus groups, paying special attention to feedback from women who account for the majority of the country’s pearl millet producers. As a result, CTI combined the grain stripper, thresher, and winnower into a less expensive, more compact single unit that is easier for women to turn, even while carrying babies in slings on their backs. During this process, CTI also learned some communities were using its grinder component for groundnuts, so the business began selling the grinder to women’s groups as a standalone unit.