At least 60% of crops in Sub-Saharan Africa are managed manually. Less than 20% are managed by machinery including tractors. This model of food production is unsustainable since food demand is increasing rapidly due to the population growth averaging 11 million per year. This deficit was the major motivation behind startup Hello Tractor operating on the blockchain network. The mobile platform enables farmers to access tractor services on demand.
Almost 50% of farmers suffer major post-harvest losses yearly because of poor planting practices. Hello Tractor mobile app came as a solution to these challenges. The app collects tractor service requests and matches them with recommended operators and tractors. It also tracks the number of hours spent by each piece of equipment in a particular area.
Hello Tractor partners with major companies like John Deere. The cooperation enhances mechanization access in small farming villages. The company aims to add extra services including operator and tractor scoring, predictive fleet utilization and maintenance, crop yield forecasting, and financing. That is where IBM Research – Africa comes in handy.
Scientists in Kenyan and Nigerian labs are working together with Hello Tractor’s developers to incorporate various services that include blockchain, IBM cloud, the Watson Decision Platform for Agriculture, and the Internet of Things (IoT) to the app. The idea aims to create a blockchain-enabled, an agriculture digital wallet, and an AI-based decision support platform.
The new project is expected to majorly run on blockchain network. The developments will enhance the capturing, tracking, and instant sharing of data while simultaneously creating transparency and end-to-end trust for all the agribusiness value chain stakeholders. The companies aim at leveraging blockchain, AI, and the IoT to optimize, digitize, and streamline agricultural business processes.
The technological advancement in the agricultural sector is set to enhance the efficiencies and new services from farm-to-fork worldwide. These new services will get tested in a pilot program starting within the first half of 2019.
Although the crypto market may be dwindling, more and more firms are embracing the blockchain technology to improve the daily lives of the general populations.
For example Pundi X, the company expands into farming with its thousands of devices. It means, that thousands of Pundi X devices will be installed to the forefront of global agriculture.