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Peanut butter milling

The design story

George Omondi lives in Migori, in the west of Kenya close to Lake Victoria. Families in the area have traditionally grown peanuts to grind into butter and use as an ingredient in soup, porridge, puddings and cakes. Peanuts are also turned into a powder and fed to small children.

Recently, people in Migori have started to see that they could make a living from growing and processing peanuts. However, grinding the shelled peanuts using a pestle and home-made mortar is time consuming - it takes two hours to produce one kilogram of peanut butter. It is also hard to remove all the lumps by hand, which means that the final product is considered poor quality. What local people needed was a machine that could transform a domestic hobby into a commercial enterprise.

The Practical Action office in Migori got hold of some plans for a peanut butter mill that was being used in Zimbabwe. It asked George Omondi - a local mechanic, thinker and innovator - to see if he could make a useful mill based on the plans.

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Practical Action - Technology challenging povertyEuropean Commission - Department for International Development

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