Driving Change Through Local Digital Solutions

Did you know there’s an Uber for tractors in Ghana?  This and more from NEXT LEVEL, the first re:publica event in Africa

In December, the global digital community gathered in Accra at the first re:publica event in Africa. It was all about thinking forward, taking action, and driving change for a digital transformation in Africa.

Re:publica is a conference format that started in Europe. It deals with web 2.0 aspects, in particular with blogs, social media and the information society issues as such. The event takes place in Berlin every year. For three days people talk and workshop on a wide variety of different topics, ranging from media and culture to politics, technology to entertainment.

Re:publica in Accra was the first one of its kind in Africa.

The event celebrated digital cultures as much as it critically reflected on current developments in the digital sphere. Discussions had the wide scope that is typical for the subject digitalization ranging from impact on politics, media and social services, all the way to altering arts, culture, business and science. The Accra Re:publica in particular gave young Africans the opportunity to share experiences and opinions and to present their innovative business ideas.

Hiring a tractor with driver via phone

One such innovative business idea came from the agricultural sector: the TROTRO Tractor, which can best be explained as an “Uber for tractors”. The Ghanaian start-up that came up with the idea developed a digital platform connecting farmers and tractor operators in rural areas. The idea is quite simple: Farmers looking for tractor services and tractor service providers are connected. The farmer dials a shortcode on a mobile phone to book a tractor. The recipient is TROTRO Tractor which then contacts a tractor service provider nearby to deliver the service at a fixed cost per hectare. To ensure the delivery of the service, the tractors are installed with GPS tracking. The payment for the service is facilitated via a mobile money account. This way, farmers have access to affordable farm machinery and services while operators can serve their clients in a quick and easy way.

Getting access to mechanisation

TROTRO Tractor is promoted to farmers and service providers by the Green Innovation Center in Ghana, which cooperates with the start-up company. The collaboration is a win-win for both sides. TROTRO Tractor attracts platform users making the business more profitable. The Green Innovations Center gets closer to their goal: i.e. supporting small-scale farmers to increase their productivity and income. Access to mechanization is critical for reaching this aim as it can assist the rice and maize farmers to significantly increase their yields.

The digital community in Africa is like to grow further. TROTRO Tractor has already taken it to the next level, showing that this is a chance for local businesses to succeed. Within successful cooperation, local digital solutions like TROTRO Tractor have the potential to benefit the population at large and to drive change in the agricultural sector and beyond.

Geographical areas covered by the operation

Central Region, Volta Region, Ashani Region and Brong Ahafo Region, Upper West and Northern Region.


For more information contact: Daria Hasse (daria.hasse@giz.de), Manager of the Community of Practice ICT4Ag.

Or visit: http://www.trotrotractor.com/