Circular Economy



Circular Economy



Niger is one of the least-developed and poorest nations in the globe, according to the latest report on Human Development Index, UNDP.
Two-thirds of the population lives below the poverty line, surviving on less than 1 dollar per day and hunger is a daily issue for many families. With about 80% of land area enveloped within the Sahara Desert, the country is affected by droughts, desertification and most lately floods. Most of the population consists out of subsistence farmers, living in the rural area. The harsh weather and poverty have resulted in parents not able to sustain their children and their own basic living needs.

The present nuts cracking tool is inefficient and unsafe, yielding little quantity and poor-quality seeds.


Local communities earn their living from selling cracked Desert Date or Aduwa Nuts to Sahara-Sahel Food, majorly cracked by women. Their income depends on quality and quantity of the seed from the cracking process. The present nuts cracking tool is inefficient and unsafe, as it requires lots of effort to yield little quantity and poor-quality seed. It has high tendency of causing injuries in the fingers of the users.


EWB targets to develop a tool suitable for cracking Desert Date or Aduwa Nuts and produce better quality seed at a higher cracking rate. With this tool, the users can improve their income to sustain their children and family, consequently be encouraged to plant more perennial trees.

The solutions will incorporate  the following characteristics:

  • Suitable for smallholder use (no industrial solution)
  • The potential of cracking 180 nuts per hour
  • Effective cost price; Not more than 50 euros
  • Possess the potential to facilitate the social gathering around nut cracking activity
  • Ease of fabrication with the local  material and process
  • Safe operation; safe to use
  • Usage efficiency; level of effort (energy) required to operate must be minimal
  • Ergonomic aspects


Designing, developing, testing and refining an improved nut cracker for desert date/aduwa nuts. This means a nut cracker that is designed to crack the aduwa nuts so the seeds come out whole.

Nut crackers are designed for special nuts. The reason why nut crackers from the Western world don’t work is that they are designed for specific nuts. Most of the nuts of Niger, including Aduwa are not worldwide known, and nobody has therefore seen the use for making a convenient nut cracker for those type of nuts.


Join our mission


Want to make things happen in the real world? Volunteer for EwB and use your skills in our projects!

Become partner

Get in touch and learn more about becoming a financial or strategic partner with Engineers Without Borders.

Propose a project

EwB has many volunteers waiting to get started on a new project. Got an idea for a local project? Let us know!