Agriculture: Farmers, Tractor Owners Celebrate Hello Tractor’s Pay-As-You-Go Program

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By Bello Hamza, Abuja

Smallholder farmers, tractor owners and booking agents in Nigeria recently celebrated Hello Tractor, an award-winning agricultural-technology company, for the impact that its Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) program has had on their lives over the last two years.

During an assessment visit from Heifer International’s representatives at the Hello Tractor Hub in Gunki, Nasarawa State, farmers, booking agents and tractor operators from the North Central who utilize the Hello Tractor application gathered at the hub to speak about how the PAYG program has significantly increased their income over the past two years.

“Hello Tractor has transformed my life,” said Hauwa, a smallholder farmer and Agriprenuer, “Previously, ploughing the land was difficult, especially for women like me. Now, the app connects me directly with tractors, and I earn commissions by booking ploughing and harrowing services for other farmers. With my income from my commissions, I have been able to buy another 50 by 100 meter land where I farm produce.”

Launched in 2022, Hello Tractor’s innovative PAYG program provides credit to young entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector who have large land areas of demand pre-booked in its booking application. This initiative has largely been supported by Heifer International’s initial $4.5 million investment.

Dr. Nneka Enwonwu, the Country Managing Director for Hello Tractor in Nigeria, highlighted the program’s social impact on farming communities.

“We have helped to tackle rural youth unemployment by empowering young people to own and operate tractors,” she said, “We train young people in our communities on the technical and economic aspects of tractor ownership to ensure efficient utilization and income generation. Today, most of our tractors across Nigeria are targeted to work between 500 to 600 hectares per year.”

The Country Managing Director emphasized that as at December 2023, Nigeria has 36.9 million hectares of arable land. With national and subnational government policies targeting agriculture for economic diversification, to achieve complete mechanization across all 36 states, it is estimated that the country needs over 60,000 tractors operating efficiently year-round.

“By empowering farmers and generating income opportunities, Hello Tractor’s PAYG program is making a significant contribution towards mechanizing Nigerian farmers, improving food security and transforming lives. Currently operational in 15 African countries as well as in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Guatemala and Jamaica, our company has reached 3 million acres under management in just under a decade — with our PAYG program in Nigeria servicing nearly 43,000 acres in just under two years, and reaching almost 22,000 smallholder farmers,” the Country Managing Director said.

According to Heifer International, Hello Tractor’s Pay-As-You-Go program has been able to generate a significant social return on investment (SROI) of 2.4, meaning that for every $1 invested, $2.4 of social value is created. This has translated to increased income for farmers and tractor owners across the country, and the creation of new businesses.

The program has also benefited a wider community, with an estimated 150,631 indirect beneficiaries as at 2023.


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