EETC is a federal agency mandated to research, adopt and transfer appropriate technological solutions to address and enhance the socio-economic development of the country. Their work includes research and development of technologies in manufacturing, electronics, nanotechnology, automation, and robotics. They have identified manufacturing in agricultural tools, such as crop threshers, as a vital technology for the development of the Ethiopian economy.
The thresher fabrication workshop was supported by the Feed the Future Ethiopia Value Chain Activity. Habtamu Tsegaye, Crop Value Chain Advisor for the organization, worked closely with EBTI to recruit participants including vocational skills educators, fabrication trainers, agriculture technology developers, and small and medium-sized technology manufacturing businesses.
On the final day of the workshop, the Feed the Future Ethiopia Value Chain Activity and EBTI held a seminar involving all participants and interested parties including funders, local NGOs, USAID, media, Government of Ethiopia officials, agro-businesses, and farmer groups. The seminar provided a platform to inform the public of the capacity of Ethiopian businesses to provide thresher fabrication services. The SIL multi-crop thresher can process many crops including soybean, maize, millet, sorghum, rice, wheat, barley, beans, cowpeas, and pigeon peas.
Additional support for the fabrication training workshop came from the US-based ADM Cares, a philanthropic arm of ADM, which seeks to improve food security by reducing post-harvest loss globally. ADM Cares is partnering with the Soybean Innovation Lab to bring improved post-harvest technologies to multiple African countries.