The Multi-Crop Thresher (MCT), an engine-driven machine that threshes crops up to 75 times faster than manual methods and saves the average small farm over a week and a half of post-harvest labor. The MCT has a modular design that allows it to processes crops commonly grown on smallholder farms, including maize, beans, sorghum, and more, and is portable so that it can easily be transported on rural areas.
The MCT is sold at $700 to rural entrepreneurs who purchase and operate the product as a service business in their community. By bringing the machine from farm-to-farm to sell threshing services, our customers earn themselves income ($10 per hour) that allows them to pay off their machine in 70 hours.
Smallholder farmers who use the machine are able to access mechanized equipment that they otherwise couldn’t afford and reap the benefits of higher productivity and reduced labor, up to 45 hours per acre. Smallholders can spend this time on more productive activities such as farm management and operating small businesses.
Through products like the MCT, Imara Tech seeks to improve living and tough working conditions of smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa, who form the backbone of the African economy yet are susceptible to high levels of poverty and its many effects. By enabling access to mechanized agricultural equipment, Imara Tech improves the farming practices of small farms to be more productive and sustainable, reducing the impact of poverty (SDG 1) and strengthening rural livelihoods through increased food system productivity and efficiency (SDG 2).
The MCT was developed in Tanzania in close collaboration with users. The result of the design process is a portable, low-cost, multi-functional design that is optimized for rural communities with large populations of smallholders.
The first pilots of the MCT began in 2016 in southern Tanzania and continued through 2018 in Tanzania and Uganda. Currently, Imara Tech manufactures and markets products throughout the northern zone of Tanzania through B2C models, with planned expansion to other regions. In addition to the B2C sales model, the company is exploring models that package the product with complementary community empowerment programming, including group organizing, financing, product training, and business skills development.
Publicly available: Yes
Countries where available: Tanzania
Price range: 700 USD
Offered or can be licensed for local manufacture: Yes
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