Multicrop Thresher / Tanzania

An efficient, human-powered thresher for wheat, maize, barley, rice sorghum and teff that is affordable for smallholder farmers.



Scale-Ups FellowJodie Wu (
EnterpriseGlobal Cycle Solutions
Pilot MarketTanzania
PartnersTwende, AISE Tanzania 
Scale-Ups PhasePhase II: Design for Dissemination

Meet Scale-Ups Fellow, Jodi Wu
Jodi Wu Is CEO of Global Cycle Solutions (GCS) based in Tanzania. Prior to GCS, she worked with Parsons and General Electric and spent eight years working with a family business. In 2008, she led the product design team that designed GCS’s first prototype of the GCS Bicycle Maize Sheller, and in 2009, she led GCS to win the 100K Business Plan Competition at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was a 2010 Echoing Green Fellow and 2011 TED Global Fellow.

The Issue: No accessible method of efficient, high-quality threshing
In Tanzania, where over 70% of both the economy and the workforce rely upon small-scale agriculture. Traditional methods of threshing  include beating the plant on the ground or on a platform using the upper body, or having animals walk over it. The process is arduous, time-intensive, and often, keeps children out of school during harvest time. These methods produce grain that is mixed with dirt, stone, or animal feces, and much of the grain remains on the stalk at the end of the process.

The only alternatives for smallholder farmers with a variety of crops are rented combines or specialized multi-crop threshers that run on diesel engines. However, these are completely inaccessible and unaffordable to the vast majority of smallholder farmers.

The Solution: The low-cost, high-impact MultiCrop Thresher
The MultiCrop Thresher in development is a low-cost, high-impact multi-crop agricultural processing machine that is easy to use under a variety of field constraints. A human-powered device, the thresher will be locally repairable, possibly locally manufactured, but, most important, at a price that makes is accessible to smallholder farmer in Tanzania.

Multicrop Thresher wins Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation award, May 21, 2013

Scale-Ups Report from Tanzania: Growing the MultiCrop Thresher team, testing prototypes, Posted: August 1, 2013


Scale-Ups Report from Tanzania: Growing the MultiCrop Thresher team, testing prototypes


D-Lab students in Tanzania to work with Scale-Ups fellow, Jodie Wu, on multicrop thresher, Posted: January 22, 2013