TANZANIA: SOME tractor owners in three districts have been empowered over utilising a new technology to optimise tractor service operations through improved fleet management, remote tracking and booking management.
In a joint effort, the two companies of Farm to Market Alliance (FtMA) and Hello Tractor conducted the 11-month pilot for the new technology in the districts of Kiteto, Mbarali and Mvomero.
In their joint statement, the companies said the pilot was focused on sensitising and promoting the utilisation and adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) technology devices among tractor owners.
During the pilot, they used the Hello Tractor brand where the pilot phase reaffirmed the transformative potential of the technology in uplifting smallholder farmers and tractor owners.
In the pilot, eight booking agents, 65 tractor owners, were included and provided with extensive training and capacity-building to effectively use the technology.
The pilot successfully demonstrated the value of mechanisation services such as ploughing and harvesting in enhancing smallholder productivity and farm-level impact.
The pilot was carried out over a production season from September 2022 to March 2023, and provided ploughing services.
The initiative was subsequently expanded from April to July to cover the harvesting season, involving combine harvester operators, the statement said.
As part of the pilot, Hello Tractor devices were installed in at least 10 tractors and four combine harvesters in four regions.
The impact was substantial, resulting in the ploughing of nearly 2,245 acres and harvesting of 971 acres, benefitting not less than 1,251 farmers through the utilisation of HT IoT technology with 109,348 US dollars generated as revenues from provision of ploughing and harvesting services at the last mile.
The pilot phase reaffirmed the transformative potential of technology in uplifting smallholder farmers and tractor owners alike.
“Technology has revolutionised my tractor-renting business. Real-time data and GPS tracking provide peace of mind.
For any tractor owner seeking operational optimisation and revenue maximisation, it is a must-have,” Mr Hamisho Ramadhani, tractor owner at Mswiswi Ward in Mbeya Region, said.
Mr Shabani, tractor owner at Dosidosi area in Kiteto District, Manyara Region, also confirmed that the tracking technology has truly been a game-changer for him.
It’s helped me uncover the exact measurements of my farm, allowing my customers to better grasp the true size of their own plots,” he said.