Media Coverage

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."...

Post-Harvest Technology Solutions: Think Big, Start Small, Scale Fast

Global Food for Thought Blog - The Chicago Council on Global Affairs — December 2012

"There is little reliable data on post-harvest loss (PHL) and until recently it hasn’t played a big part in agricultural investment strategies. Only four percent of development assistance goes to agriculture and little of it for post-harvest programs. In light of high prices and lack of food availability, there seems to be new recognition that the world community can do more to prevent post-harvest loss as a means to meet world food demand"...

Smooth Operation: Engineering Professor, Student Study Peanut Grinder for Local Nonprofit

University of St. Thomas — September 2012

"Would you believe that the road to food security is paved with ... peanut butter?

It's one of the ways, and we're not talking partially hydrogenated Skippy-brand peanut butter. Just ask Dr. Jim Ellingson, assistant professor in St. Thomas' School of Engineering, and junior mechanical engineering major Noel Naughton.

The pair spent their summer vacation grinding 25 pounds of roasted, unsalted peanuts for a study that will help local nonprofit Compatibility Technology International (you might remember them from Friday's Newsroom story "Dr. Camille George and the Future of Breadfruit"), pave this road. The organization creates a range of "practical food and water tools that empower the global poor to better feed and support themselves."...

Compatible Technology International at Mill City Farmers Market

Mill City Times — September 2012

"Compatible Technology International was the Community Booth at the September 22 Market.  It is a nonprofit organization that alleviates hunger and poverty in the developing world by designing and distributing simple, life-changing food and water technologies.  At the Market, they demonstrated grain grinders, their “tools for harvest, hope for the hungry.”...

Rock the Vine 3 at Saint Croix Vineyards

City Pages — June 2012

"Sometimes, it's just nice to get out of the city. Rock The Vine 3 was set in the picturesque grounds of the Saint Croix Vineyards in Stillwater, and treated music fans to a sun-kissed day filled with good wine, or wine fans to a day filled with good music, depending on which way you looked at it. Either way, it was all for a good cause due to the benevolence of local non-profits Rock The Cause and Compatible Technology International, as Halloween, Alaska, Solid Gold, White Light Riot, Haley Bonar, and Farewell Milwaukee (amongst others) all put on entertaining performances to delight the radiant crowd on a sweltering summer day in Stillwater."...

Samoan Breadfruit Makes a Splash in the Caribbean

Inter Press Service — June 2012

"Can a single species of tree significantly reduce hunger, unemployment and deforestation in the tropics? Researchers and scientists behind a surge in breadfruit activity think so.

Over the last decade, a handful of nonprofits and NGOs have accelerated efforts to test, grow and distribute breadfruit trees with the idea that this versatile, nutritious, fast-growing member of the mulberry family has enormous untapped potential to improve food security and local ecosystems."...

Two thousand expected to ‘Rock the Vine’ at St. Croix Winery

St. Croix Valley Press — May 2012

"Lovers of wine, rock music and dancing, mark your calendars. St. Croix Vineyards is planning its third annual Rock The Vine event, a unique fundraiser that encourages attendees to support nonprofits and volunteer in their communities."...

Inventive Tools For Developing Countries

Farm Show Magazine — April 2012

"In North America we take electric food processing machines that peel, slice and dice for granted. In developing countries, where there may be no electricity, harvesting and processing crops is tedious and laborious. A volunteer organization of retired engineers, scientists, farmers and other professionals have been making those tasks easier since 1981."...

Solid Gold, Halloween, Alaska set to Rock the Vine in Stillwater

City Pages — April 2012

"Twin Cities music fans who are willing to make the short drive to Stillwater on Saturday, June 9 for Rock The Vine 3 will be rewarded will a bunch of great bands, exquisite wine, and tasty food options, all set along the picturesque backdrop of the St. Croix River Valley. Rock the Cause and Compatible Technology International have joined with Saint Croix Vineyards in Stillwater for Rock The Vine 3, which promises to be an entertaining, enjoyable day featuring plenty of great local music, wine tasting, food, and fun."...