The Multi-Crop Thresher (MCT) is an agricultural product that can thresh various types of crops within just one machine. These crops include maize, sorghum, barley, and rice. The Thresher aims to improve quality of life, strengthen value chains, and contribute to food security. This is done by producing a cleaner agricultural product that can be used more efficiently, thereby reducing the amount of hard labor and drudgery.
Designed for portability in the field and around rural settings, it is equipped with two wheels. It also has an indented seat so that it easily fits onto the back of a motorcycle rack, the preferred way of travel for many people in village areas. Aimed at farmers, this machine has the capacity to thresh different crops, allowing the farmer improved flexibility, and saving a great deal of time and labor.
The Multi-Crop Thresher is a throw-in type thresher. This means that crops are fed into the machine from the top. Once they enter the threshing chamber, a rotating drum beats the grains off of the stalks. Large chaff passes through to the exit of the chamber and is expelled from the machine, while threshed grain falls through a sieve-like structure called a concave. A fan blows dust and small chaff from the threshed grain, which then leaves the machine through an exit chute to be collected in bags.
Agriculture accounts for over a quarter of the gross domestic product in Tanzania, but many farmers are still dependent on traditional farming methods. Activities such as threshing are time consuming and laborious: on average it can take up to three hours of hitting bundles of rice against a rock to produce 100 kg of threshed rice, and three hours of beating dried maize with a stick to produce 100 kg of shelled maize. Farmers could spend this time and energy more productively elsewhere.
Although mechanized threshers drastically reduce the time spent threshing, they are conventionally expensive, bulky and not very user-friendly. The company has worked closely with Tanzanian smallholder farmers to design a context-appropriate multi-crop thresher (MCT) that provides the benefits of mechanized threshing while addressing its common drawbacks.
Use of this Thresher also aims to create employment and entrepreneurship opportunities in modern agricultural services by creating a technological alternative to traditional post-harvest processing. Additional benefits can include increased incomes, and time for other productive activities. This will more often than not impact women, who are commonly responsible for post-harvest processing, as well as men seeking employment in modernized agricultural services. In all target groups include small farming households, women on small land-holder farms and entrepreneurs.
Publicly available: Yes
Countries where available: Tanzania
Price range: Over 200 USD
Offered or can be licensed for local manufacture: No