Smart Tractors for Smallholder Farmers

Hello Tractor has developed low-cost smart tractors that smallholder farmers can either buy or rent along with a driver, via SMS.

Hello Tractor has developed a low-cost tractor equipped with various attachments used for irrigation, ploughing, fertilizer distribution, and other tasks, tailoring it to specific crops and stages of the production cycle. The company’s tractors are equipped with a GPS antenna enabling Hello Tractor to track usage and gather data on location, market trends, and uptake. Additionally, Hello Tractor has developed an SMS booking and payment system where farmers can request, schedule, and prepay for tractor services from nearby smart tractor owners.
When users rent Hello Tractors, the tractor owner is paid $75 per hectare cultivated, which is about one-third the cost of manual cultivation, according to the company. Since launching in 2014, farmers participating in the beta period saw yields increase by 200%. So far, 1,000 tractors have been deployed in Nigeria.

Relevance of solution

Approximately 500 million smallholder farmers produce around 80% of the world’s food.1 Many of them have limited access to tractors because of high costs, inadequate spare parts, and lack of repair services, which means low productivity.2 By providing affordable tractors and accessible leasing services, Hello Tractor makes it easier for smallholder farmers to access quality tractors, which in turn increases productivity.

Triple Bottom Line

Environmental

Increasing efficient food production smallholder farmers harvest the low-hanging fruit by making better use of available arable lands.

Social

Increasing smallholder food production can make low-income rural communities self-sufficient and reduce hunger.

Economic

As Hello Tractor’s services can increase yields by up to 200%, the company helps increase farmers’ incomes.


Sources

  1. IFAD. “Smallholders, Food Security, and the Environment”. (2013)
  2. African Development Bank Group. ”Agricultural Mechanization.” (2015)