Feed the Future — February 2015

"With support from Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation, Compatible Technology International (CTI), a nonprofit organization that designs and distributes post-harvest storage and processing implements for smallholders, introduced its pearl millet tools in Senegal in 2013. Designed to reduce women’s labor and increase their ability to produce high-quality pearl millet, CTI’s tools include a manually operated thresher and grinder. The thresher alone allows women to process one kilogram of grain in three minutes, less than half the time it takes using a mortar and pestle. It also captures more than 90 percent of the grain, significantly reducing food waste." ...

MPR News — January 2015

"George Ewing, 84, has died, but a lot of people in poor countries are eating because he lived. In 1980, he organized a group of engineers at General Mills in Golden Valley with the idea of improving the food supply and income in developing countries. From that group, Compatible Technology International (CTI) was founded and today operates in 13 countries. Dozens of retired engineers, ag experts and farmers volunteered their time there, developing contraptions that mechanize the processing of grain. He was the last living founder." ...


Africa Agribusiness Magazine — December 2014

"Pearl millet, one of the most extensively cultivated cereals in the world and a key staple crop in the African Sahel, is particularly important to the food security of smallholder farmers in arid regions. With over 230,000 millet farmers in Senegal, over 3.9 million millet farmers in West Africa, and over 95 percent of these farmers using the ancient mortar and pestle to thresh millet, the demand and need for an improved technology are immense."

Huffington Post — November 2014

"The Thanksgiving Holiday gives us time to stop and think about all that we have to be thankful for in the United States. It's also a great time to reach out and help those in need around the world. Worldwide, 1.5 billion people live in poverty. Sixty percent of the world's hungry are women. Local organizations are caring for women by providing resources and a means to make a living. These organizations are stopping the cycle of poverty by teaching women how to work their way out of poverty."

Duluth News Tribune — November 2014

"Compatible Technology International a global nonprofit based in St. Paul, recently raised $30,000 to start a partnership and internship for students at Northland College in Ashland. Both institutions initiated the partnership as a way to honor for CTI executive director Malcolm McLean."

Innovate Development — October 2014

"Compatible Technology International (CTI), a nonprofit based in St. Paul, Minnesota, develops simple manual tools that allow farmers in developing countries to move beyond subsistence farming to develop microenterprises. In 2014, CTI launched a pilot program in Senegal that put three new grain tools into the hands of 12,000 people in 51 villages."

SciDev.net — May 2014

"A non-profit US organisation that develops affordable farming and water purification tools for families in developing countries is moving to a new strategy: selling its tech directly to communities of poor people rather than only to NGOs who give it away for free.

Compatible Technology International (CTI), which is based in Minnesota, United States, designs and sells innovative, affordable devices that help people avoid waterborne infection, improve food production and boost incomes. It has ongoing projects in Haiti, Nicaragua and several African countries.

While CTI historically sold technologies to other charitable organisations that distributed them to farmers, its new strategy for 2014-2017 will see CTI teams also work directly with local partners to support manufacturing, sales and training."

Modern Casting Magazine — March 2014

"We seek out fabricators and suppliers that can help us produce quality products at a rate that's affordable so we can impact more lives and provide tools to the families who need them most." -CTI Executive Director Alexandra Spieldoch

Appropriate Technology Magazine — December 2013

"Sub-Saharan Africa loses $4 billion dollars worth of grain each year postharvest. $4 billion is equivalent to the amount of food aid sent to the region over the past decade alone. One of the primary causes of the wasted food lies in the inefficient, labour-intensive postharvest processing methods smallholder farmers use to thresh and winnow their harvest into edible grain. Now a grant of $100,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is being used to reduce postharvest losses and alleviate these barriers to smallholder grain production."...

SciDev.net — July 2013

"New tools for processing pearl millet are to be sent for testing in Senegal as part of a project which has just received a US$100,000 grant.

Pearl millet — the most widely grown type of millet — and sorghum make up three-quarters of the calories eaten by people in low-income households in Sub-Saharan Africa.

But few technologies have been developed to reduce the drudgery and time involved in harvesting and processing the crops — particularly for women, who do most of the labour — says Alesha Black, a programme officer at the Gates Foundation, which awarded the grant.

The set of four tools — a stripper, thresher, winnower and grinder — will be sent to 10–25 villages in Senegal. They will be assessed during the year-long pilot project to test whether they help farmers to increase the yield and quality of grain, and whether the work is less time consuming."...

Advancing Global Food Security: The Power of Science, Trade, and Business - The Chicago Council on Global Affairs — May 2013

"Compatible technology International (CTI) is harnessing the power of innovation and technology to address the issue of postharvest loss on a sustainable, long-term basis. The NGO creates practical tools to help communities in the developing world address their food and water challenges. In Senegal CTI worked with pearl millet farmers (many female) to develop hand-operated grain processing devices that allow farmers to capture 90 percent of the grain and produce edible grain 10 times faster than with traditional mortar-and-pestle methods [...] CTI’s innovative work reveals the capacity of smart, simple technology to address agriculture’s major challenges."

Macalester College — January 2013

"As a communications intern for Compatible Technology Institute, Brianna Besch ’13 spent her time last semester explaining how designing innovative tools—such as a bicycle-powered potato slicer—can help poor farmers get enough to eat."...

Global Food for Thought Blog - The Chicago Council on Global Affairs — December 2012

"There is little reliable data on post-harvest loss (PHL) and until recently it hasn’t played a big part in agricultural investment strategies. Only four percent of development assistance goes to agriculture and little of it for post-harvest programs. In light of high prices and lack of food availability, there seems to be new recognition that the world community can do more to prevent post-harvest loss as a means to meet world food demand"...

University of St. Thomas — September 2012

"Would you believe that the road to food security is paved with ... peanut butter?

It's one of the ways, and we're not talking partially hydrogenated Skippy-brand peanut butter. Just ask Dr. Jim Ellingson, assistant professor in St. Thomas' School of Engineering, and junior mechanical engineering major Noel Naughton.

The pair spent their summer vacation grinding 25 pounds of roasted, unsalted peanuts for a study that will help local nonprofit Compatibility Technology International (you might remember them from Friday's Newsroom story "Dr. Camille George and the Future of Breadfruit"), pave this road. The organization creates a range of "practical food and water tools that empower the global poor to better feed and support themselves."...