When CTI creates new technologies, we strive to treat small farmers as co-designers by directly asking them about their food and water challenges and inviting farmers to evaluate our prototypes. Nonprofit Village Enterprise employs a similar philosophy when they train rural entrepreneurs in poor, rural communities. Village Enterprise trains community leaders in Uganda to be business mentors, and those mentors go on to provide business skills training and support to local entrepreneurs.
Recently, 30 of CTI’s grinders were delivered to Soroti, Uganda, where villagers were encouraged to come up with their own ideas for businesses that would work in their communities:
”In our very first training session, one of the business owners had a monumental idea. After the demonstration, one woman raised her hand, “Can we grind millet and soya together in the grinder?”
Millet and soy are nearly perfect nutritional compliments to each other. Millet is high in B1 vitamins, rich in iron, but lacks lysine, which helps the body absorb calcium. Soy is high in protein, contains essential amino acids, and enough lysine to complement millet’s deficiency. It is a vital nutritional supplement especially for infants, elderly and pregnant women. There is a large demand for this superfood, particularly in hospitals, but it’s only located in urban markets at high prices. These markets, again, are essentially unreachable from the areas where we work.”
Check out Village Enterprise’s blog for the full story.