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Agro Modernization: Ethiopia


Company: IDEO Client: Ethiopian ATA
// Product Design // Strategy Design

What if… Ethiopia’s teff farmers could substantially improve the lives of their families by simply modifying their planting process?

The average Ethiopian farmer earns just $350 USD per year. Of the country’s 100 million citizens, 85 percent work in the agriculture sector and the majority farm Ethiopia’s ancient staple gain, teff. Although the grain has been cultivated in the region for thousands of years, the methods for doing so have barely advanced. Adapting western agriculture concepts to the local context, our team designed a modern, user-friendly row planting machine to help farmers improve their methods of cultivation for the nation’s cornerstone crop.

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Increased Yields of
teff production


Total Cost of


My Role

As a Product Design Engineer I focused on the physical design of planter components, prototype manufacture, mapping and executing testing plans, and product launch and scaling strategy.


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I can spend days preparing fields and planting teff. When I see this, I think of ‘modern technology’ and I know it will help me greatly!
— Farmer, Oromia Region