Hello Tractor: https://hellotractor.com/
Jehiel Oliver on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jehiel/
Software is Feeding the World Email Newsletter: https://rpethe.substack.com/
Today’s episode is about how Hello Tractor is bringing tractors to farmers in developing countries. This is a tremendous story of figuring out the logistics of how to maximize the use of farm machinery where it’s needed most, and deploying the technology and processes to make this happen at scale. At a real basic level, Hello Tractor is an agricultural technology company that connects smallholder farmers across the emerging markets with farm equipment owners that have excess capacity through technology.
Jehiel started the company six years ago in Nigeria, and has since moved to Kenya. Hello Tractor is now operating in 13 countries in Africa as well as a few countries in Asia as well as Guatemala and Jamaica.
Today’s episode is worth listening to all the way through, whether or not you think the problems of the developing work apply to you. It’s not only a great story, but there are some fascinating insights here about the power of fleet management technology, and how innovations in this industry can be applied to farms of all sizes.
Jehiel grew up in Cleveland and started his career in investment banking. He started to become really interested in ways to use finance to work with more marginalized communities, and started volunteering his time and expertise in deal structuring to microfinance organizations. After the financial crisis he committed full time to this work, first in Afghanistan. He realized that the global poor work in agriculture, and mechanization is a key missing piece to helping to alleviate poverty. So he’s applying his finance background to pull commercial levers to address this really entrenched problem.