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Millet mills save backbreaking work


The millet dries on the roof

They pound vigorously 
It is a backbreaking work for women to pound millet for their daily meals. They have done it the same way for centuries. Now a change has come: The village received on January 22 mills that can peel the millet grains and grind them into fine flour.

The highly nutritious millet is the traditional crop in large areas of Africa. But they now grow more and more rice, which is easier to prepare. In Choya and the surrounding area they have retained millet as a main source of food, but they pound and pound. The millet must be pounded three times. The first operation is to thresh the millet to get the grains lose from the ears. Second operation is to remove the husks around the grains. The third operation is to pound the grains to flour. Between each operation the grain must be winnowed and sifted.


The two machines

The husks are sanded off the grain
On the wish list of village's population stood mills that can mechanise the work and at the same time can provide a source of income for the village. The women are supposed to pay a small amount of money for each portion of millet grinded, and they also wanted to grind millet for the surrounding villages. We decided to start modestly, to procure and install smaller machines powered by a diesel engine for the second and third operation, to husk the grain and grind it into flour. These machines will be able to process the village's own millet and perhaps a limited amount of millet from the outside. It is already possible to get millet threshed by people driving around with larger machines. If all goes well we may decide to increase the capacity and install solar energy, possibly financed by the village's own earnings.