Nigeria has one of the largest inventories of uncultivated farmland on earth, but they are losing crops in volumes because of labor shortages and lack of mechanization.” according to Jehiel Oliver, CEO of Hello Tractor. Many smallholder farmers cannot afford to pay someone else for high-season help. Owning a tractor would solve many of those problems.
The first part of the business is the small, 15 horsepower tractor itself that Hello Tractor sells at $4,000, 10 times cheaper than the average tractor found in Africa. Each tractor comes with a GPS tracking device, so that its position can be shared by its owner.
Watch the USAID documentary on Hello Tractor:
Once a tractor is available, Hello Tractor receives tractor service requests from other farmers, which it then texts to nearby tractor owners. The owners can then lease the tractor for a fee or offer do the work themselves, in order to make up for their costs. The mobile application also allows tractor owners to track their tractor location and usage.
The startup has raised $3 million in seed funding from USAID and other sources, and sold over 1,000 tractors to farmers in Nigeria.