WFP is running a pilot together with Hello Tractor and Farm to Market Alliance (FtMA) to connect tractor owners with demand from smallholder farmers. Connecting fragmented farm plots to a sharing economy is expected to drive increased equitable access to mechanization for farmers, while incentivizing tractor owners to better serve the farmers.
Smallholder farmers are in need of mechanized services to increase agricultural productivity and land cultivation, but lack the resources to own or maintain industrial farming equipment. Furthermore, commercial tractor owners face barriers to provide service-for-hire profitably and efficiently to smallholder farmers.
Through its award-winning technology platform, Hello Tractor provides a solution that enables farmers to request affordable tractor services, while providing enhanced security to tractor owners through remote asset tracking and virtual monitoring. It connects tractor owners to farmers through an Internet-of-Things digital solution that bridges the gap between traditional farming and more technologically advanced approaches, with an ultimate goal to increase and optimize tractor activity and utility across emerging markets.
"Coupled with the work we are doing with IBM to integrate blockchain and artificial intelligence elements to our technology, our route optimization solution will be a game changer for our customers,“ said Folu Okunade, Hello Tractor’s Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Operating Officer.
In 2019, Hello Tractor participated in a WFP Innovation Bootcamp and started to develop and test a route scheduling and optimization solution to allow tractor owners to serve as many small and fragmented plots as possible. By enabling a larger number of acres to be served, smallholder farmers will become more attractive customers to tractor owners. This disruptive technology holds the potential to increase smallholder farmers’ agricultural productivity and income, stimulating economic growth in Kenya and beyond.