Ending Hunger with an Extra Six Weeks

Date posted: Monday 16 July 2018

I am often delighted to find that a meeting has been cancelled and I have the unexpected gift of an extra couple of hours; perhaps you are the same. Those couple of hours alone are valuable, so can you imagine what you would do if you had an extra four to six weeks? That is the goal of a non-profit group based in St. Paul, working to help subsistance and other small farmers earn a few weeks back.


Our Hunger Advocacy and Education group recently had its annual June field trip. This year we visited and learned about Compatible Technology International (CTI). This 37-year-old organization helps international small farmers produce more food, more income, and more opportunity for themselves. Their mission statement is: “CTI is reducing hunger in Africa by equipping farmers with empowering tools and training. The result is more nutritious and readily available food for all.”


CTI Makes For Extra Time

During the trip, we learned how CTI listens to farmers with small plots, learning what they need and together designing tools that are easy to use and made just for them. The tools are manufactured in Africa, too, providing jobs and training in repair for people there. We saw grinders, threshers, and peanut tools in action – grinding rice flour, threshing millet, and shelling peanuts as examples.


CTI is currently working with groups in Senegal and Malawi but expanding into Tanzania and Mozambique. There are CTI tools, training, and services right now in 50 countries throughout the world; not just in Africa. We were also impressed with the work being done in conjunction with local colleges and universities to develop new technology and designs. We learned a lot on our tour and encourage others to visit or arrange for a speaker from CTI; check their website at www.CompatibleTechnology.org.


Something as simple as using a peanut sheller can earn a farmer an extra four to six weeks; in that time, the small farmer (often a woman) can plant and harvest a second crop. There are so many things that one could do with that extra income, such as paying for school fees, affording medical care, or contributing to the local economy. Sustainability and empowerment is amazing and life-giving – and can put an end to hunger across the globe.


Vernita Kennen

Incarnation Lutheran, Shoreview