Increasing Senegal's Harvest with CTI's Grain Thresher

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In 2014, CTI launched its newest innovation in Senegal: a hand-operated grain thresher designed to help smallholder pearl millet
farmers increase their yields and their incomes.

Pearl millet is a nutritious cereal grain that grows in some of Africa’s most famine-prone regions, producing reliable yields in dry, hot climates with poor soil quality. In Senegal, pearl millet is primarily produced at the subsistence level and hand-processed by women and girls. Though pearl millet is a major source of nutrition for the rural poor, its production and market potential are limited by traditional processing methods and a lack of access to improved technologies.

Agricultural mechanization is a key component of rural development, capable of reducing the processing time, drudgery, and food waste associated with traditional methods.

Our thresher is an affordable, three-in-one tool that significantly increases farmers’ yields in a fraction of the processing time.

CTI’s thresher strips, threshes, and winnows grain in a process that:

  • Produces high-quality, clean grain free of dirt and debris
  • Produces grain 2x faster than traditional methods
  • Captures more than 90% of farmers’ grain 

The thresher also provides farmers and entrepreneurs an opportunity to earn money renting out use of the tool. In the pilot product launch, CTI introduced the idea of selling threshing services to neighbors, letting each entrepreneur select an appropriate service for their community. Upon returning to the communities, CTI was pleased to learn this fee-for-service model has been effective among most of the communities.

In early 2015, CTI partnered with Senegal’s agricultural extension agency ANCAR on a World Bank-funded program to scale distribution and establish permanent manufacturing and distribution partners in Senegal. Over the next three years, we are working with ANCAR to distribute our tools to 50 farmer’s organizations across the country.