CTI recently collaborated with The Soybean Innovation Lab working to train our local manufacturing partner, C to C Engineering, on fabricating SIL's multi-crop thresher, originally developed in Ghana. The SIL thresher is designed to be low cost, produced locally, and can be used by farmers to shell maize and thresh soybean, rice, legumes, sorghum and other crops. With SIL's design, farmers can process soybean 40 percent faster with almost no loss compared to other larger and more expensive options. In the coming months, CTI will be working to adapt the thresher to fit the needs of farmers in Malawi to bring their crops to market.

The four day hands-on training in early December brought together engineers from across Africa -- C-to-C in Malawi fabricated SIL's original design with the assistance of Imoro Donmuah Sufiyanu, the original designer and manufacturer of the thresher from Ghana and Jeffrey Boakye Appiagyei, an engineer with SAYeTECH and AgriCad Africa.

The fabrication workshop team also included CTI's US based technology coordinator Bridget Gerenz, who will be overseeing the next phase of the project led by CTI to adapt the thresher to work best for Malawian farmers. With a now completed and locally built thresher, CTI's team will bring the machine into the field to be used by farmers around Malawi with a variety of crops including maize, peanuts, and soybean.

After initial testing and research using the thresher locally, we will explore how the thresher's design can be modified so it can be used throughout the country with local varieties of the crops (particularly peanuts, a valuable crop widely grown in Malawi) and potentially be adapted to be pedal powered.

Finally, the modified thresher will be used to test market conditions for target crops in the spring of 2019. CTI will be researching to ensure that farmers will see a return on investment from buying and using the CTI-modified thresher to process their crops to be sold at the market.

This fabrication and pilot study of the thresher in Malawi is supported through a generous grant from the ADM Institute for the Prevention of Postharvest Loss and ADM Cares.
Published in blog

CTI volunteers Ed Galle and Dick Fulmer recently returned from a trip to Ghana and Liberia where they worked with several collaborators to conduct extensive grinder training for 25 trainers on the use of the Omega VI (photo), demonstrate the processing of moringa leaf powder and peanut butter, and present CTI’s hand-held corn sheller and the wooden grinder.

President of the Moringa Association of Ghana and friend of CTI, Mozart Adevu, worked with Dick and Ed while they were in Africa, and attested to the quality of the Omega VI for moringa production in his recent newsletter.

“Ed Galle and Dick Fulmer, volunteers of CTI, joined me to travel to Liberia between March 28 and April 4. We conducted 6 demonstrations in 6 separate locations in two Counties, Nimba and Montserrado for over 260 farmers. The enthusiasm during the demonstrations was overwhelming and the farmers and communities indicated the opportunity as a great blessing for them. The situation during some demonstrations are likened to Acts 3:8 as the farmers jumped with joy and praised God with the excitement of the “miracle” of the new possibility for them to mill their products at such a fast rate. They considered this as great “healing” of their situation and prayed to God to sustain the lives of those who help them in such “wondrous” ways. We made the demonstration sessions very practical and participatory. The farmers, especially women, took turns to try their hands on the Omega VI grinder and it was great fun! When some quantity of powder was produced, the participants applauded their efforts and were amazed at the fine and smooth nature of final product…

I will also share these experiences with other countries during my trips and hopefully [the United Methodist Committee on Relief] and CTI could begin a good collaboration to explore the possibility of support for food processing in other countries too.”

Published in West Africa
Tuesday, 16 December 2008

20 Grinders to Ghana

In February of this year CTI volunteers Dick Fulmer and Ed Galle visited Ghana to promote the use of CTI grinders in the moringa industry. As part of their efforts they made a presentation at the Radach Memorial Centre in Tamale, Ghana. This modern facility was conceived as a hospitality haven for people of all walks of life. The Centre provides training in Community Development, Christian Life and Volunteer Services through formal courses and seminars as well as self-study programs.

Dick and Ed made a presentation at the Centre for several dozen people as part of their Community Development programs. The Director of the Centre, Rev. Johnson Asare, immediately saw the value that our grinders could bring to the people that his Centre serves and began discussions with CTI on how we and his organization could work together. The concept would be for Johnson to identify a group of local farmers and entrepreneurs who would use our technology and grinders to produce moringa powder for their own consumption and for sale.

This concept was developed into a business plan during the summer when Johnson visited the CTI headquarters in St. Paul. Accordingly, a partnership was developed with Rev. Asare’s Radach Centre, The Well Church, Fresno, CA, Advancing Native Mission, Afton, VA and CTI. This group is joining together to get 20 Omega VI grinders to the Radach Centre in early 2009. When they arrive, Johnson will gather the trainers for each of the areas where the grinders will be assigned and Dick Fulmer and/or Ed Galle will conduct a series of “train the trainers” sessions at the Radach Centre.

CTI and our supporters should be very proud of the efforts Dick and Ed have made to make this happen! Many thanks Guys!

Published in West Africa