Hello Erf – Tractor Hiring Tool

Hello Erf is a call center based mechanization hotline that leverages Mobile apps, web app and call center that serves to link both farmers and Mechanization service providers.

The mechanization service provision faces efficiency challenge from both the service provider and the farmer perspective.

Most of cereal farmers produce twice a year and the main season is the longest rainy season. Getting not all the necessary inputs and services on time affects their productivity and puts them in lots of additional costs. Farmers access the service by searching a service provider in the area, negotiating with brokers and or by going to kebelle agriculture office to seek connection with one of registered vendor in the area. After getting the negotiation they’ve to wait their turn until the tractor owner operator comes.

The mechanization service providers on the other hand don’t have proper way of handling and organizing bookings. Sometimes brokers or agriculture offices may do the coordination in registering farmers in cluster and calling the operators/owners. In most of the cases this has at least helped as a temporary solution.

On the other hand, the tractor owners, who mostly manage virtual but not operate, don’t have any real-time information about their tractors or combiners and are vulnerable for fuel theft and under reports of revenue. Besides because of lack of preventive maintenance they incur big cost of spare parts. These has made the business less attractive to entrepreneurs who are interested in the mechanization service provision.

There are 12,500 tractors operational nationwide. The government is also in the process of introducing two wheel tractors to instigate the mechanization process. Besides, quite recently the Development Bank of Ethiopia has announced that tractors purchased with the lease financing option of the banks machinery loan disbursement channel are free to be rented once owners finished their lands. Though big opportunity to lift up the sector the above constraints had put hurdle along the way.

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