Mobile phones, otherwise known as cell phones refer to the portable handheld telephone devices that can be used to make and receive phone calls as well as send text messages via the cellular network. In addition to texts and calls, mobile phones have evolved thanks to technological advancement to be able to support other services such as internet connectivity, photography, emailing, radio services, video games, tracking and so much more.
In recent years, there has been tremendous development and innovation in the field of information and technology as well as software creation which has led to improvement on the existing mobile phones resulting to what we have now, smartphones. With the extensive use of these devices all over the world, governments, business corporations and also non-governmental organizations have begun to realize that they can utilize this available technology to address most of the global challenges faced by the population.
The one appealing thing about mobile phones is the versatility that comes with it. This is because the device can be used for a handful of purposes such as entertainment via radio or internet, research on the internet, mobile money transfer, digital photography, surveying, and data collection, social interaction, addressing economic and health issues through campaigns among many others.
For my case study, I am going to look at Hello Tractor as a technology tool being used in Nigeria and the larger West Africa to make farming easier and more profitable for the farm owners. Hello, Tractor is a mobile-based service that was unveiled to bring tractor services to the small-scale farmer. This came to be when the innovator realized that small-scale farmers did not need to own tractors but they needed access to the tractor services and hence found a way to make it possible. This, therefore, resulted in the creation of a platform that brought together tractor owners and the farmers in a demand and supply sort of arrangement. A farmer in need of the tractor services sends a text and requests for a tractor from around his or her location, and the tractor owner avails the tractor at a fee which is a win for both parties. In most instances, the payment for the services is made via mobile money transfer.
Besides lending out the tractors, the company also rolled out the Smart Tractor which is a low-cost tractor that the farmers can obtain for personal use and for business investment purposes too. The Smart Tractor comes equipped with a GPS antenna for tracking to ensure that the owner is aware of its location at any given time. It also has data analytics abilities that allow for information on usage, market trends, and location to be gathered and used for further market research. All these services can be easily accessed via the Hello Tractor mobile app.
Hello, Tractor as a tech tool that has gained momentum in Africa’s agricultural environment as it serves one if the most crucial sectors in the continent. In the rural setting where most households engage in subsistence farming, Hello Tractor is a service that is out to improve the efficiency and boost farm yields. It has been seen to serve the rural farmers in Nigeria and is spreading out to Mali, Ghana, and other parts of the world.
The utility of Hello Tractor does not diminish with changes in the economic environment since even in regions of extensive large-scale farming, the need for cheap services in a bid to optimize profit margins remains to be the main objective for all farmers. There are minimal risks associated with Hello Tractor as this has been a project that is improving the lives of numerous households in Africa. In future, with more investment in such tech tools, harvesting and product processing capabilities can be added on to the smart tractor model to improve and further make life easier for the populations.