Hello Tractor - founded by Nigerian, Jehiel Oliver, is a startup that aims increase farmers’ productivity by providing tractors for hire (Uber style).
Jehiel says that there are about 35 million small farmers in Nigeria, 80% of whom, hire extra labour. The need for Hello Tractor, came about when majority of the farmers could not afford to pay for the extra labour during the high season and thus those farmers end up planting later, underusing their land and losing out on income. Often, those farmers are women. Jehiel goes ahead to say that owning a tractor will solve many of those problems but investing in a good tractor costs a lot of money.
For this reason, Hello Tractor, wants to connect these farmers to tractor owners through its mobile app. Farmers request for the tractors through sms messages, the owner drives to the farm, provides the labour and is paid $75 per hectare. It costs one-third of what manual cultivation does, and the tractor owner makes a good wage.
Since Hello Tractor launched in 2014, farmers who participated in the beta period saw their yields increase by 200 percent using a machine that’s 40 times faster than manual labor. The early success earned Oliver a spot in the 2015 Echoing Green Global Fellowship program, and in late July (of the same year), he presented Hello Tractor at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kenya to a pretty rarefied audience—President Barack Obama.