Illinois-based Deere & Co. known for its engagement in equipment operations, is set to join hands with the “Uber of tractors” in Africa and is envisaging a future where farmers dictate machines with a mere touch of a button.
The farm equipment maker is supplying its tractors with Hello Tractor’s technology that enables farmers to hail the machines through an app, transmits usage information including fuel levels and monitors movement of the vehicles.
Reportedly, the company believes they will have to push to the limits to augment the sales of green and yellow John Deere tractors in Africa which is grappling with the highest poverty rate in the world and arguably the least mechanized agriculture sector.
Deere is said to have been testing the technology (a small black box positioned below dashboards) on approximately 400 tractors in Kenya and Ghana. According to sources, they contemplate launching the devices across Africa in the mid-2020, providing the sate-of-the-art technology to contractors who purchase the equipment in the region.
Jacques Taylor, head of sub-Saharan Africa business for Deere & Co., apparently said that the continent is in a desperate need of more machinery to boost its farming industry. He went on to express his displeasure on most of the farmers not having the scale to substantiate a sizeable investment.
He also stressed that connecting small farmers with tractor owners is a chasm they have identified and would fancy seeing every farmer having access to mechanization.
According to reports, Deer refused to disclose the investment cost of the roll out. In a stark contrast to the advancement of mechanization in other parts of the developing world, Africa seems to be bogged down by dearth of bank financing, small landholdings and low incomes.
Deere wants to come to the rescue on the financial front by drilling down data from the Hello Tractor platform which reveals how farmers tend to use equipment.