Bamako, Mali

Manufacturing Design for Subsistence Farmers

Support No Poverty

Skills Needed

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Design (Product or Industrial)
  • Innovation
  • Product Design
  • User Research

Language Proficiencies

You must be able to speak English.
Additionally, speaking Bambara, Frenchwould be helpful.

When Can You Start?

You can start as soon as possible and stay for 6 weeks to 3½ months



Project Details

Description and Impact

The goal of the myAgro tools program is to develop labor saving tools so that smallholder farmers can more easily apply modern agriculture techniques in their fields. Usually, we do this in one of two ways - either taking existing tools and adapting them to the West African environment or modifying tools that farmers already use to be in line with recommended agricultural practices. Our main tool so far is a “semoir”, an oxen-drawn planting machine that decreases the time required to plant with micro-dosing (a recommended agricultural technique proven to increase yields) by more than four times.

An Experteer working on this project will work with the agriculture team and the field team to use Human Centered Design principles to design, test, and model agricultural tools for use by our farmer clients. In this role, you will gain hands-on, real-world experience by collaborating with an international team across several countries to improve a consumer product that may be used by thousands of smallholder farmers in the coming years. 


You will design and test various designs and tools with smallholder farmers in the field. This project will be a success if the Experteer an aggregate farmer feedback to design a tool that will be useful in the West African context. The ultimate end goal is to deliver an updated 3D model of your design, finalizing and documenting your design to the level of third party manufacturing quality.

We Provide These Local Benefits

Benefits Overview

  • Accommodations
  • Learning Opportunity
  • Good For Groups


The Experteer is welcome to stay in myAgro's shared apartment, generally occupied by visiting staff and new hires who have not yet found their own housing. This apartment comes fully furnished and is only a 10 minute walk away from the myAgro office.

Learning Opportunity

This opportunity would provide an Experteer with real-world, on the ground experience designing tools for smallholder farmers, the largest group of impoverished people in the world.

For any French language learners, living and working in Mali is an excellent opportunity to practice your skills or even pick up some Bambara, the most common local African language. On the flip side, if the Experteer speaks French, then this experience can be a good chance to practice your English. 

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