IITA Youth Agripreneurs is partnering with Hello Tractor to train young Agripreneurs in Nigeria on the use of a ‘Smart Tractor’ designed by the company. The training which will commence in September after the project launch in Abuja on Monday, July 18, will bridge the gap in the use of ICT and mechanization in agriculture. The Hello Tractor project funded by USAID is another self-developed proposal of IITA Youth Agripreneurs after the Community Youth Agripreneurs project.

The Hello Tractor which is a two year project project will give IYA the opportunity of providing training for 100 youths on the business of owning, maintaining, utilizing and promoting services for a fleet of smart tractors. IYA will also support the participants in facilitating formation of individual and group-based enterprises to ensure more engagement of youth in the agricultural sector. The training workshop which will take place in three different regions: Ibadan Abuja, and Kano will range from lectures, case studies, brainstorming, discussions, group exercise, demonstrations, debates, and videos. Training contents for the workshop will include curriculum, such as agribusiness value chain, use of ICT in agribusiness, mechanization in agriculture, networking skills, entrepreneurship, introduction to tractor and implement maintenance, business management, risk management, organizational/administrative development, business model/plan and marketing.

All these are expected to aid the youth in sustaining a productive and competitive tractor agribusiness enterprise. The Hello Tractor project will also provide youth Agripreneurs who will be selected across the country access to financing, which will help them own a fleet of tractors. This would create a bevy of opportunities for the Agripreneurs to provide tractor services for up to 15,000 smallholder farmers. The ‘Smart Tractor’ as developed by Hello Tractor is a versatile tractor with eight attachments to serve farmers throughout the farm production cycle. It has attachments which include those for tilling, plowing, threshing, hauling up to a ton, irrigation pumping and sprinkling, iron wheels for wet paddy rice production, and other vital farming needs. The tractor is also fitted with a GPS antenna, local SIM card, hardrive and telematics capabilities which enables them to connect the Smart Tractor to the powerful cloud software of Hello Tractor, even in rural environments with low connectivity. This connectivity feature enables Hello Tractor to pair farmers in need of tractor services with a Smart Tractor owner within their vicinity.