A Kenyan, on Wednesday, September 8, scooped the most coveted continental award bagging Ksh165 million at the African Green Revolution (AGR) summit.
Kenyan entrepreneur, Jehiel Oliver, won the inaugural Agriculture, Youth and Technology (AYuTe) Africa Challenge.
His company, 'Hello Tractor', was awarded the Ksh165 million grant by Heifer International alongside Coldhubs, a company owned by a Nigerian.
Apart from the cash prize, Oliver will receive professional advice and how to continue pushing for the expansion of his company.
"This is part of Heifer International's efforts to support young entrepreneurs developing affordable tech innovations to scale their businesses. Doing so ensures greater access to services that enable African farmers to overcome long-standing challenges while encouraging a new generation to pursue opportunities in agriculture," Heifer International stated.Jehiel Oliver of Hello Tractor Win Coveted Continental Award on Wednesday, September 8
Oliver's Hello Tractor is a smart digital enterprise that is connecting farmers to tractors. It is nicknamed the 'Uber of tractors'. Hello Tractor, founded in 2014, is helping illuminate one path: By cutting down on the labor and the drudgery long associated with farming, and making it lucrative for the next generation.
"Our ambition is for Hello Tractor to be available across Africa and we're excited that winning the AYuTe Africa challenge will help make that happen," Oliver stated in his appreciation speech.
Oliver has been making strides, in 2018, his business venture was featured by Forbes. He told Forbes that his venture had managed to reach more than 250,000 smallholder African farmers.
He was inspired to start Hello Tractor by the poverty levels he experienced in the country and the need to inspire the young generation that agriculture can be lucrative.
"Across sub-Saharan Africa, 220 million farmers live on less than $2 a day. Many of them struggle to produce enough food to feed their families and sustain their livelihoods. My experience working in global finance and agriculture brought me to frontier markets where I saw this firsthand," he said.
He also argued that small-scale farming had become expensive which is why he decided to introduce his venture to offset them.
"Smallholder farmers don’t have the machinery they need to fully cultivate their land. Tractors and farm equipment are expensive, and financing is virtually nonexistent. But I realized, if farmers have access to a tractor, that’s as good as owning one. That’s why I started Hello Tractor," Oliver noted.Hello Tractor, Company owned by Jehiel Oliver
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