Photograph — livefireonline.com

Hello Tractor, a Nigerian owned AgriTech startup, has won the sum of $15,000 at the recent Bosch Africa Smart Mobility competition in Johannesburg. The startup, alongside Kenya’s BuuPass, emerged winner in a final competition that hosted 11 finalists from seven countries. The competition was launched in August this year and it assessed applications from 222 teams across 27 African countries.

The AgriTech startup which was established in 2014 by Jehiel Oliver, uses technology to offer smarter, better-maintained, and profitable tractors to farmers. Its digital platform also connects tractor owners and smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. Not to mention that it seeks to help farmers with limited access to resources get convenient and affordable tractor services while creating additional income and enhanced security for tractor owners. It would achieve this by turning tractors into smart tractors through remote asset tracking and virtual monitoring.

The African continent is challenged with problems of mobility due to under-development and bad policies. According to the Bosch’s Vice President for Sales in Africa, Yves Nono: “Now is the time, we need to find smart mobility solutions for the future Africa.”

The recent adoption of drones, satellites, and solar irrigation systems in some African countries like Ethiopia, Mozambique and Niger, shows the receptiveness of the African continent towards the use of digital technologies to boost its food productivity and profitably. It also signals the active involvement and heartfelt participation of the African youth in the Agric sector as technology offers a soft-landing for the generation of innovative ideas.

While climate change threatens food security globally, the use of technology in agriculture beams a light of hope for those who employ it. Smart leaders in Africa are creating platforms to engage the youth with schemes that would inspire them to invent Agric technologies with an end-game of curbing food insecurity, creating employment opportunities and economic boost.

Recently, the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA), a group fighting against poverty in Africa partnered with Hello Tractors to reach a large number of smallholder farmers in Africa. Just like many AgriTech Startups across Africa, the potentials of Hello Tractor’s innovative digital platform is getting its recognition. 

With these recent partnerships, the Nigerian startup is on track to expand its reach to more smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. It would be a smart move for the Nigerian government and other stakeholders to also partner with Hello Tractors to improve mobility for farmers and producers in the sector. 

By Ishioma Eni

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