Our work

Ergonomic hand tools in farming (Ghana)

The hoe is a traditional tool used by small-scale farmers. Ghanaian farmers called for a new tool to allow them to work more productively and with less effects on their health. In co-creation with local parties, TNO started an ergonomic redesign process and developed a business plan to launch the new tool on the local market. With the long-handled hoe people can now work upright. Market introduction is planned for 2011.

The aim is to improve quality of life by improving productivity and the health of farmers and to increase the incomes of blacksmiths and carpenters. In collaboration with all stakeholders, in 2009 we jointly redesigned the hoe and tested it in two farming communities. The main change is the long handle, allowing farmers to work upright instead of bending down all day. In 2010 we conducted a further test in four other communities, which involved 300 farmers. The business model for local production and scaling up is now in preparation. The main partners are the University of Tamale, the Kalabash Foundation, Send, the chiefs and farmers from six communities around Bolgatanga and Tamale and the Dutch Development Cooperation programme (funding).


Capacity building through ergonomics in cooperation with local knowledge institutes. Improvement in the quality of life of 10,000 farmers in Ghana – decreased workload and improved comfort and productivity. Increase in the incomes of farmers, blacksmiths and carpenters.




Drs. Mathilde Miedema

  • Developing countries
  • Development Cooperation
  • Africa
  • Bangladesh
  • Inclusive Business


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