Nigerian agri-tech startup Hello Tractor has partnered the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) to expand its services across Nigeria and Kenya, connecting 5,000 smallholder farmers to mechanisation services.
Hello Tractor connects tractor owners to farmers through an Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled digital solution that bridges the gap between manual and mechanised farming.
The startup, which last year entered into a partnership with IBM Research to pilot a new tool for farmers, enables farmers to request affordable tractor services, while providing enhanced security to tractor owners through remote asset tracking and virtual monitoring.
Hello Tractor’s latest partnership, with CTA, is aimed at increasing smallholder farmers’ access to mechanisation services and youth employment opportunities. It will enable Hello Tractor to expand its services across Nigeria and Kenya to connect 5,000 smallholder farmers to mechanisation services, as well as to create jobs for youth as tractor operators and booking agents.
It comes after Hello Tractor was awarded a grant following a CTA call for proposals for ICT-enabled mechanisation in Africa, which was issued to explore and implement initiatives to support the effective use of digital technologies for agricultural transformation in Africa.
“We are delighted to partner with Hello Tractor in expanding its innovative digital platform to reach a large number of users that will contribute not only to modernising smallholder agriculture and increasing productivity but also to attracting young people to agribusiness in Africa,” said CTA director Michael Hailu.
Jehiel Oliver, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Hello Tractor, said the startup was excited to work with CTA to improve the delivery of mechanisation services to smallholder farmers.
“Through this collaboration, we will identify, train, and grow the number of youth serving as booking agents on serving farmers. This partnership will grow demand for tractor services through targeted digital initiatives aimed at better coordinating the market,” he said.