Digital Solutions and Innovations for Sustainable Agriculture
USAID and the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) recently collaborated in sponsoring a session on the margins of the July 2023 World Trade Organization (WTO) Committee on Trade and Development, focusing on a partnership between Hello Tractor and the John Deere Company, titled “Leverage Digitization and the Advanced Service Economy, Empower Farmers and Improve Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
The session provided insights from farmers from Kenya. Speakers told the story of Hello Tractor, a sharing app for agricultural equipment — the “Uber for tractors” in sub-Saharan Africa — whose innovation is that it facilitates well-performing farmers to become tractor owners. By using the service, farmers develop credit history, which allows them to access credit, buy a tractor and rent it out, making as much as $30,000 a year.
At its core, Hello Tractor is a company that creates economic activity where there wasn’t any before — either due to lack of capital resources, technical know-how or both. Hello Tractor also illustrates how innovation and entrepreneurship can be matched with digital and analog tools to overcome critically important challenges, such as food security, economic empowerment (including women’s economic empowerment), technology transfer and skills training, and access to financing.
A video of the presentation is available below: