Academic Venture Fund - 2016

New Tech for an Ancient Food

Rice farmers in Cambodia

Basic 3-D printing technology could make the tools rice farmers in Asia and Africa need to grow more rice sustainably. This team aims to demonstrate that 3-D printing can help manufacture quality weeders, transplanters, and harvesters for low-water, climate-smart rice production—simply, cheaply, and locally. The researchers will work with commercial printers in the United States to design simple, sturdy farming tools and identify the manufacturing technology baseline required to create parts on site. Partners in Mali, India, and Malaysia will pilot test the manufacturing process and work with farmers to refine the tools.

Investigators: Derek Warner, Erika Styger, Robert Shepherd