Deere Bets On The Nearly $2 Billion African Farming Market With Hello Tractor App

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By Sabrina Lynch

  • Deere & Co partners with agricultural start-up Hello Tractor to fight poverty in Africa’s Rural Areas
  • Africa’s Agricultural Machinery Market is projected to reach $1.93B by 2024

A Nigerian start-up, ‘Hello Tractor’ has partnered with farm equipment company Deere & Co (DE +4.77%) to create a ride sharing experience for farmers across the African continent. The app will provide farmers with access to tractors simply through a touch of a button, allowing users to ‘hail’ a machine upon demand. Africa’s Agricultural Machinery Market is projected to reach $1.93 billion by 2024 and Deere wants a large piece of it. Therefore a level playing-field is warranted to ensure every farmer has access to tractors that will benefit their communities.

Why This Matters: Hello Tractor is the brainchild of CultureBanx GameChanger Jehiel Oliver, who is helping farmers in the most impoverished areas in Africa get one foot up on the economic ladder by accessing vital machinery they would not be able to afford otherwise. It’s no secret that farm machinery is expensive, creating an economic inequality that leaves farmers financially vulnerable and close to destitution due to the lack of funding from banks. Touted as the “Uber of Tractors”, Hello Tractor is in a prime position to pull communities dependent on agricultural harvest from the brink.

So far 400 tractors in Ghana and Kenya have been fitted with the Hello Tractor technology to test the app

A ride sharing model could help farmers receive approval on financing for future purchases, by empowering hard-working laborers to increase food production from their lands. This could lead to more revenue they have at their disposal to buy their own tractor. Data captured from the way farmers use the tractors including tracking fuel efficiencies, will also validate their business proposals to banks, justifying the release of much needed loans.

So far 400 tractors in Ghana and Kenya have been fitted with the Hello Tractor technology to test the app. If successful, the devices will be rolled out across Africa during the latter half of the year targeting markets such as Kenya, Mozambique and Senegal where Hello Tractor currently operates. The partnership is a marriage of convenience which benefits Deere by boosting sales, and expands the operations of Oliver’s company that harnesses technology for social good.

Situational Awareness: There are 220 million farmers living on less than $2 a day across sub-Saharan Africa and struggle to produce enough food to feed their families. Hello Tractor is a bridge they need to gain financial independence. Farmers will be able to plant 40 times faster at one-third the cost, with less risk and more efficiency.

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Sabrina Lynch

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