Many smallholder farmers in the tropics do not have access to durable and affordable harvest equipment such as crop threshers. SIL is creating a local, skilled workforce for the fabrication of low-cost, locally-produced, multi-crop thresher to address the challenges of availability and affordability that prevent many smallholder farmers from scaling up their agricultural production. Locally-made also means locally-repaired. Local fabricators listen to customer needs and can customize equipment for individual or groups of end-users, and can provide maintenance and repair services locally.
Manual threshing, disproportionally carried out by women, is labor intensive and time consuming. SIL’s multi-crop thresher is 80% faster, requires only 2 operators, and results in a post-harvest loss of less than 2%. Starting with just 12 fabricators from Ghana in 2016, SIL has now trained 142 fabricators across 7 countries to build, service and maintain threshers that can handle cowpea, maize, soybean, millet, sorghum, and rice.