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Low-cost, Locally-produced, Small-scale Mechanization

There is great need in Africa for low-cost, locally-produced small-scale mechanization for smallholder farmers to increase their crop production. Researchers with the Soybean Innovation Lab recognized this need and developed a locally-produced small-scale thresher for smallholder soybean farmers.

Many smallholder farmers in the tropics do not have access to durable and affordable harvest equipment such as crop threshers. Creating a local, skilled workforce for the fabrication of low-cost, locally-produced small-scale mechanization 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.

Along with developing the soybean thresher, the Soybean Innovation Lab created a customized training to teach local blacksmiths how to fabricate low-cost, small-scale crop threshers. The blacksmiths learn not only how to fabricate the threshers, but also received business training, and construct a working threshing machine. Click here to learn more about the training.

Contact us to learn more about the Soybean Innovation Lab soybean thresher or to collaborate on developing low-cost, locally-produced small-scale mechanization for smallholder farmers.  


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