Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Aeris and CalAmp bring “Uber for tractors” to Nigeria

Steve Rogerson
August 29, 2018



California companies Aeris and CalAmp are working with Hello Tractor to integrate IoT technologies to create an “Uber for tractors” that provides an on-demand service for mechanised equipment in Nigeria and other developing areas.
 
The partnership is equipping John Deere tractors with intelligent telematics and wireless connectivity.
 
John Deere is part of a public-private partnership that will deploy tractors over a five-year period in Nigeria through a business model that makes highly productive and profitable equipment more accessible and easier to manage for contractors offering services to small farmers. The partnership creates a technology-sharing ecosystem that promotes economic growth by putting more land into production and creating jobs across the region.
 
"It's exciting to see the innovation that Hello Tractor is bringing to the contractor segment in Africa," said Jason Brantley, managing director for John Deere in sub Saharan Africa. “John Deere's success comes from how we and our dealers make sure our products are as productive as possible and always up and running. The Hello Tractor solution fits right into that and I think we are really just seeing the beginning of what is possible through data and telematics services for smallholder contractors."
 
Initial tractor deployments are estimated to yield:

  • Nine million hectares of land into production;
  • 37 million metric tons of additional food; and
  • More than two million direct and indirect jobs in Nigeria.
"There is no doubt agricultural mechanisation will have an impact on Nigerian farmers' efficiency," said Jehiel Oliver, founder and CEO of Hello Tractor. “The magnitude of that impact – and how quickly tractors can benefit society – will largely depend on the private sector, government and the public working together. This announced partnership marks a significant step towards bringing this positive impact to the nation. This alliance will help Nigerian farmers access more affordable and dependable tractor services that will make a real difference in shaping the future of agriculture."
 
This partnership transforms manual farm labour into mechanised agriculture that is more operationally efficient to increase food productivity and sustainability. The business model allows farmers greater access to equipment and services, enables owners to optimise fleet operations, and inspires the growth of a burgeoning equipment tractor rental market.
 
"We're thrilled to be a part of delivering a valuable solution to the growing sharing economy that will make a positive impact on farmers in developing areas," said Carl Burrow, senior vice president at CalAmp. "Through real-time data, farmers have an opportunity to develop sophisticated agricultural businesses and contribute substantially to the community at large. We're honoured to be part of such an exciting effort in leveraging IoT technologies to empower the next generation of business."
 
The CalAmp intelligent telematics device installed on the tractor delivers location and detailed usage information to the Aeris Mobility IoT platform. Those data are analysed and delivered to the Hello Tractor platform and mobile app. Equipment owners and rental companies use actionable data insights such as location, engine hours and tractor patterns to make informed decisions about equipment availability, utilisation and proactive maintenance to operate their fleets more efficiently.
 
"Using internet of things technologies, Hello Tractor is accomplishing amazing things to make best-in-class farm equipment available to smallholder farmers," said Harry Plant, vice president at Aeris. “Aeris is delighted to provide the IoT connectivity and data solutions necessary to give Hello Tractor and farmers the ability to strengthen food security in Nigeria”