Rent your Tractor – A Platform for digital Services in Agriculture
The majority of Ghana's agriculture sector is made up of smallholders who oftentimes cannot afford to acquire farming machines for the cultivation of their fields. An estimated 60% of the land used for agriculture is made up of this type of small farms. The limited use of agricultural machinery poses a serious problem in terms of the productivity of the individual farms and also when it comes to realizing the potential of the overall areas under cultivation: There is only a small number of service providers that rent out equipment to the smallholders. Government-run centers for mechanization turned out to be unsustainable and cooperative forms of ownership are underdeveloped. At the same time, the market for brokering services (contacting and payments) is relatively inefficient. Therefore, the Green Innovation Center Ghana that got created as part of the special initiative “ONE WORLD – No Hunger” partnered with a local startup that works on improving the process of renting out tractors and farming machinery: “Tro-Tro”, that's how shared cabs are called in Ghana that pick up passengers who hail them from the side of the road. By allowing farmers to order and pay for rented equipment with a simple cellphone, TROTRO Tractor is mimicking this cultural practice and make use of it for the brokering of various mechanization services in the agriculture sector.