You may be one of the subscribers that received a message from Vaya that read:
Do you own a Tractor? Want to make money leasing out your excess capacity? Do not be left behind. Call 144 to register & be part of the agricultural revolution.
Though that message is being sent from EcoFarmer, it seems the initiative is actually originating from Vaya. By the next planting season, Vaya wants to be the one providing tractors to farmers across the country. According to Cassava SmarTech CEO, Mr Eddie Chibi, the company plans to register more than 10 00 tractors from the national fleet of more than 15 000 tractors.
How will this work?
Vaya will actually offer a Tractor App and this is what will enable farmers to make their tractors available when they aren’t using them. Though the costs of leasing the tractors will be standard, the exact figures are yet be disclosed.
Mr Chibi said based on computer modelling done by Vaya engineers, 10 000 tractors could plough and service 1.5 million smallholder farmers if deployed efficiently. The company will leverage its sister company Econet Wireless’ cell phone network, as well as satellite GPS systems, to deploy the tractors.
They will know exactly where each tractor is located and will be able to deploy them where and when they are needed. Mr Chibi said leveraging the internet in this day and age is critical:
This is the age of the Internet and shared economy. You don’t need to own a tractor. And there is no need to be phoning around, we know each tractor, and have tools that enable us to ensure the farmer and the tractor owner are able to transact using EcoCash.
We want to add every type of machinery available for agriculture. We are also adding trucks of all sizes to the App within the next 3 months.
The market opportunity for contract ploughing and mechanization is over $500 million per annum. This is huge and we can transform agriculture and make it less laborious for all our farmers. We need entrepreneurs and farmers to come into this space quickly. It will be very lucrative for everyone.