CTI's groundnut sheller is amanually-operated device that gently shells groundnuts of various sizes with minimal broken or split kernels. It was developed by CTI in collaboration with SEE ALL
CTI's groundnut sheller is amanually-operated device that gently shells groundnuts of various sizes with minimal broken or split kernels. It was developed by CTI in collaboration with ICRISATandsmallholders in Malawi.It's easy to operate and it produces high-quality shelled groundnuts 25x faster than hand shelling. The sheller was developed, along with technologies for harvesting and stripping groundnuts, with funding from the McKnight Foundation.
How does your innovation work?
Typically, groundnuts are shelled by hand, and most often by women. Farmers commonly wet their pods to soften their shells, causing considerable risk of contamination from bacteria, fungus, and aflatoxin. CTI’s sheller is a hand-operated device that scrapes groundnut pods between a rotating disk and stationary steel rods. The gap between the disk and rods narrows as the nuts fall down the sheller, and the nuts are easily shelled with minimal broken or split kernels.

Stage 3: Proof of Concept

CTI has developed manually-operated groundnut sheller that increases small farmers’ productivity, improves the quality of their groundnuts, and reduces women’s labor. The sheller was developed as part of a suit of technologies that also include an oxen-powered device for harvesting and a stripper for removing groundnut pods from the roots. The lifter, stripper, and sheller were designed by a team of engineers and researchers from CTI and ICRISAT, in collaboration with smallholders from Malawi and Tanzania. Prior to developing the tools, the design team surveyed and interviewed 248 groundnut growing families in the Kasungu and Lilongwe districts of central Malawi to collect baseline socio-economic data and identify the primary constraints associated with groundnut production. The tools were field-tested extensively in the groundnut producing belt of Malawi from 2011 to 2014 and modified based on farmers’ feedback. Now that the tools are developed, we want to make sure farmers can access the tools, sell their nuts at a fair price, and profit. With support from the McKnight Foundation, CTI is starting this next phase of work in 2016. We are working with local manufacturers to get farmers our tools in time for the May harvest. And we are partnering with farmers' organizations across Malawi—including NASFAM, the largest smallholder farmer group in the country. Farmers’ groups like NASFAM give farmers access to resources like new technologies, training, and good seed. By working in a group to sell their crops, farmers’ organizations can also help their members get better prices at market. With this partnership, farmers' organizations can now offer CTI's groundnut tools to their members—giving farmers the support they need to reap the full benefits of their labor.
Registered in Malawiin Malawi

Focus Areas:

Agriculture, Post Harvest, Economic Empowerment and 2 MoreSEE ALL

Agriculture, Post Harvest, Economic Empowerment, Human Centered Design and InclusionSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Tanzania, Mozambique and Malawi

Tanzania, Mozambique and MalawiSEE LESS

Countries Implemented In

Planned Goals and Milestones

  • National pilots in Malawi &Mozambique to test scaling models and evaluate socio-economic impact
  • Building the supply chain with cost-effective local manufacturing, troubleshooting, and repair
  • Explore innovations for value-added food processing and aflatoxin mitigation
In 2016, the groundnut technologies will be fabricated in Malawi and distributed to rural smallholder farmers, in collaboration with farmers' associations throughout the country. Our team will measure the value and impact (both social and economic) of the tools and identify models for improving farmers’ access to markets. This research is key to understanding how the tools fit into the current groundnut market, laying the groundwork for scaled distribution to farmers in East Africa and beyond.


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