Media Coverage

Can Breadfruit Overcome Its Past to Be a Superfood of the Future?

National Geographic — July 2015

July 2015 - National Geographic "Once it’s ripe, breadfruit rots pretty quickly, which is an issue when you have hundreds of large fruits to harvest all at once. That’s why breadfruit advocates like Dr. Camille George, a professor of engineering at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, have been pioneering ways to extend breadfruit’s shelf life by shredding and drying it. With the help of her engineering students and Compatible Technology International, George developed low-tech, hand-powered tools to grind dried breadfruit into flour."...

Tech Talk with CTI: Investing in Women through Mechanization

Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation — April 2015

April 2015 - Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation "Pearl millet, one of the most extensively cultivated cereals in the world and a key staple crop in the African Sahel region, is largely processed by women who lack mechanized tools. With support from Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation, Compatible Technology International (CTI) - a nonprofit that designs and distributes tools in collaboration with small farmers and their communities to improve food and water security in developing countries-introduced its pearl millet tools in Senegal in 2013. The tools reduce women's labor and increase their ability to produce high-quality pearl millet, providing the opportunity to improve nutrition and income."...

Combating food waste in sub-Saharan Africa — April 2015

April 2015 - "Compatible Technology International, a Minnesota-based nonprofit, has designed and tested several products to reduce crop losses in various African countries in recent years. The organization recently introduced equipment for processing millet in Senegal that it says captures more than 90 percent of the grain — up from roughly half using traditional methods — while also nearly eliminating contaminants like dirt and debris. But equipment alone isn't the solution, said executive director Alexandra Spieldoch. Also essential is leadership and financial training to help farmers adopt the equipment —something the organization tries to achieve through partnerships with local groups and government agencies."...

Women in Senegal Increase Food Production with Pearl Millet Tools

Feed the Future — February 2015

"With support from Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation, Compatible Technology International (CTI), a nonprofit organization that designs and distributes post-harvest storage and processing implements for smallholders, introduced its pearl millet tools in Senegal in 2013. Designed to reduce women’s labor and increase their ability to produce high-quality pearl millet, CTI’s tools include a manually operated thresher and grinder. The thresher alone allows women to process one kilogram of grain in three minutes, less than half the time it takes using a mortar and pestle. It also captures more than 90 percent of the grain, significantly reducing food waste." ...

Pearl Millet Thresher: Labor Saving Tool for Women


Africa Agribusiness Magazine — December 2014

"Pearl millet, one of the most extensively cultivated cereals in the world and a key staple crop in the African Sahel, is particularly important to the food security of smallholder farmers in arid regions. With over 230,000 millet farmers in Senegal, over 3.9 million millet farmers in West Africa, and over 95 percent of these farmers using the ancient mortar and pestle to thresh millet, the demand and need for an improved technology are immense."

Share Your Attitude of Gratitude by Helping Women Fight Hunger Worldwide!

Huffington Post — November 2014

"The Thanksgiving Holiday gives us time to stop and think about all that we have to be thankful for in the United States. It's also a great time to reach out and help those in need around the world. Worldwide, 1.5 billion people live in poverty. Sixty percent of the world's hungry are women. Local organizations are caring for women by providing resources and a means to make a living. These organizations are stopping the cycle of poverty by teaching women how to work their way out of poverty."

Northland College, St. Paul nonprofit partner to offer student internship

Duluth News Tribune — November 2014

"Compatible Technology International a global nonprofit based in St. Paul, recently raised $30,000 to start a partnership and internship for students at Northland College in Ashland. Both institutions initiated the partnership as a way to honor for CTI executive director Malcolm McLean."

Grain Tools Help Women in Senegal Thrive

Innovate Development — October 2014

"Compatible Technology International (CTI), a nonprofit based in St. Paul, Minnesota, develops simple manual tools that allow farmers in developing countries to move beyond subsistence farming to develop microenterprises. In 2014, CTI launched a pilot program in Senegal that put three new grain tools into the hands of 12,000 people in 51 villages."

Rugged tech designer steps up its innovation — May 2014

"A non-profit US organisation that develops affordable farming and water purification tools for families in developing countries is moving to a new strategy: selling its tech directly to communities of poor people rather than only to NGOs who give it away for free.

Compatible Technology International (CTI), which is based in Minnesota, United States, designs and sells innovative, affordable devices that help people avoid waterborne infection, improve food production and boost incomes. It has ongoing projects in Haiti, Nicaragua and several African countries.

While CTI historically sold technologies to other charitable organisations that distributed them to farmers, its new strategy for 2014-2017 will see CTI teams also work directly with local partners to support manufacturing, sales and training."

Castings Sustain Communities

Modern Casting Magazine — March 2014

"We seek out fabricators and suppliers that can help us produce quality products at a rate that's affordable so we can impact more lives and provide tools to the families who need them most." -CTI Executive Director Alexandra Spieldoch

Pearl Millet Processing Made Easier

Appropriate Technology Magazine — December 2013

"Sub-Saharan Africa loses $4 billion dollars worth of grain each year postharvest. $4 billion is equivalent to the amount of food aid sent to the region over the past decade alone. One of the primary causes of the wasted food lies in the inefficient, labour-intensive postharvest processing methods smallholder farmers use to thresh and winnow their harvest into edible grain. Now a grant of $100,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is being used to reduce postharvest losses and alleviate these barriers to smallholder grain production."...

Tools Trialled to Curb Post-harvest Millet Loss — July 2013

"New tools for processing pearl millet are to be sent for testing in Senegal as part of a project which has just received a US$100,000 grant.

Pearl millet — the most widely grown type of millet — and sorghum make up three-quarters of the calories eaten by people in low-income households in Sub-Saharan Africa.

But few technologies have been developed to reduce the drudgery and time involved in harvesting and processing the crops — particularly for women, who do most of the labour — says Alesha Black, a programme officer at the Gates Foundation, which awarded the grant.

The set of four tools — a stripper, thresher, winnower and grinder — will be sent to 10–25 villages in Senegal. They will be assessed during the year-long pilot project to test whether they help farmers to increase the yield and quality of grain, and whether the work is less time consuming."...

Advancing Global Food Security

Advancing Global Food Security: The Power of Science, Trade, and Business - The Chicago Council on Global Affairs — May 2013

"Compatible technology International (CTI) is harnessing the power of innovation and technology to address the issue of postharvest loss on a sustainable, long-term basis. The NGO creates practical tools to help communities in the developing world address their food and water challenges. In Senegal CTI worked with pearl millet farmers (many female) to develop hand-operated grain processing devices that allow farmers to capture 90 percent of the grain and produce edible grain 10 times faster than with traditional mortar-and-pestle methods [...] CTI’s innovative work reveals the capacity of smart, simple technology to address agriculture’s major challenges."

Helping Global Farmers

Macalester College — January 2013

"As a communications intern for Compatible Technology Institute, Brianna Besch ’13 spent her time last semester explaining how designing innovative tools—such as a bicycle-powered potato slicer—can help poor farmers get enough to eat."...