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HomeTop StoriesKenyan-based "Uber of Tractors" among winners of KSh165 million continental grant

Kenyan-based “Uber of Tractors” among winners of KSh165 million continental grant

In Summary

  • Jehiel Oliver is the founder of ‘Hello Tractor,’ an “Uber for tractors.”
  • He says he will use the money to expand his footprint across the continent.

A Kenyan-based company is among the two winners of the inaugural Agriculture, Youth and Technology (AYuTe) Africa Challenge $1.5 million grant.

‘Hello Tractor’ founded by Jehiel Oliver won the grant from Heifer International alongside ColdHubs by Nigerian Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu.

ColdHubs provides solar-powered, walk-in coolers for smallholder vegetable farmers, while Oliver’s Hello Tractor connects farmers to tractors in Kenya on a needs-basis. It is nicknamed the “Uber of tractors.”

“Our ambition is for Hello Tractor to be available across Africa and we’re excited that winning the AYuTe Africa Challenge will help make that happen,” said Oliver.

From a mobile App, farmers can hire a tractor on needs basis. “Our ambition is for Hello Tractor to be available across Africa,” says Oliver. PHOTOS/COURTESY

“The entire continent of Africa sees about 15,000 new tractors every year while India alone sees about one million. Our farmers clearly need a lot more tractors and Hello Tractor offers a proven pathway for increasing access to this important technology.”

Besides the Grant

The two winners were announced yesterday at the 2021 African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) Summit. Besides the KSh165m, the two will receive support from a team of expert advisers—accomplished business veterans—to help them translate their funding into an aggressive expansion strategy.

“This is part of Heifer International’s efforts to support young entrepreneurs developing affordable tech innovations to scale their businesses,” says Heifer. “Doing so ensures greater access to services that enable African farmers to overcome long-standing challenges while encouraging a new generation to
pursue opportunities in agriculture.”

The non-governmental organisation says it conceived the idea for the AYuTe Africa Challenge “based on four decades of work as a trusted partner of African farmers—and seeing first-hand the stark difference between local farms that have access to new technologies and those that do not.”

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