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 (MCT) 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 over 200 fabricators across 10 countries to build, service and maintain threshers that can handle cowpea, maize, soybean, millet, sorghum, and rice. SIL trainees have gone to market with over 280 threshers across Africa, and 70 entrepreneurs are now commercially operating the SIL MCT.