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Customized Training for Smallholder Thresher Fabrication

The Soybean Innovation Lab is offering customized training workshops in small thresher fabrication. Our instructors can either train your selected local blacksmiths/welders or we can train your own trainers.

Access a brochure and a flyer about the training.

Build it Local

Many smallholder farmers in the tropics do not have access to durable and affordable harvest equipment such as crop threshers. Imported threshers are often too costly and too large and cumbersome for small farmers, have too high of energy needs or end up in the scrap pile if repair parts cannot be located or fabricated. Creating a local, skilled workforce for the fabrication of small to medium sized threshers can solve many of the problems of availability and affordability that prevent smallholder farmers from scaling up production. Locally-made also means locally-repaired. Local fabricators can listen to customer concerns and customize equipment to the needs of the individual or groups of end-users.


Gabriel Abdulai, the Soybean Innovation Lab primary trainer and small equipment engineer is a graduate of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana. 

Worshop Details

Workshops include designs and fabrication of both motorized and bicycle powered threshers. Workshops also include business training and ideas on how to price to be profitable but still attract customers

Workshops require 8 days, one for discussion and training on three-dimensional design reading, basic thresher components, construction calculations, welding methods and safety, one day for business training and 6 days for fabrication. Contracting organizations will have to supply a facility with power, appropriate tools and welders. Training can also be contracted for Tamale, Ghana or Missouri, U.S.A where SIL will provide access to a training facility.

Workshop Costs

Contracting organizations will need to pay salary, travel costs and per diem for two SIL trainers for twelve days. We suggest that trainee travel and per diem costs be covered by your organization and that some seed money be provided to participants so that they can build a model thresher  to attract customers on their return home.

Example costs from a 2016 training in Ghana can be found here.

Contact us to learn more about setting up a training. 


Dr. Kerry Clark
Soybean Innovation Lab
209 Mumford Hall
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211