Jehiel Oliver

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Hello Tractor :: 2016

Nigeria is a country with enough arable land to fill Texas, but nearly 80% of the 52 million smallholder farmers still plow and weed with a simple hoe. Tractors could reduce backbreaking labor and improve yields, but plots are small and tractors are expensive. Plots are much too small to justify spending the $40,000 that an average tractor costs. That means smallholder farmers work much harder and longer for far less yield. They’re stuck using ancient methods for lack of a simple technology.

Jehiel is a former finance consultant who realized that the lessons from the sharing economy – Uber and its ilk – could be harnessed to get tractors to Nigerian farmers. His company, HelloTractor, fields inexpensive tractors equipped with GPS system so that farmers can call the nearest tractor owner to come to them for an affordable price. Tractor owners get a whole new business and smallholder farmers reduce their labor and increase their yields. Everybody wins.

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