PRESS RELEASE-Nairobi, Kenya (March 12, 2024) — Hello Tractor Kenya Ltd., a pioneering agricultural technology company, is excited to announce a successful debt financing of $750,000 for its innovative Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) model. This significant investment, sourced from the Impact for Northern Kenya Fund managed by AV Ventures LLC, a subsidiary of ACDI/VOCA, marks a substantial milestone in Hello Tractor’s journey to stabilize and grow smallholder farming in Africa.

Hello Tractor’s PAYG model is uniquely designed to offer asset financing to community-based agents, who utilize the Hello Tractor mobile application to book farming services for smallholder farmers. Their system streamlines farm mechanization, growing farmers’ and equipment owners’ incomes, while providing employment opportunities for agents, who earn commissions from booking services. Under the PAYG program, these agents can graduate to tractor owners upon reaching a threshold of 1,200 booked acres.

Transforming Lives and Empowering Farmers

Hello Tractor’s deployment of technology-driven solutions has already made a significant impact, mechanizing the agricultural operations of over one million smallholder farmers across 18 African countries. By focusing on affordable and climate-smart mechanization, Hello Tractor empowers farmers, boosting their income, enhancing food security, and improving efficiency and resilience, particularly in climate-vulnerable regions like Northern Kenya.

Hello Tractor client

Expanding Horizons in Northern Kenya

In 2022, the “Bridge to Investability” Window of the Impact for Northern Kenya Fund provided Hello Tractor with technical assistance to develop a comprehensive dashboard for the PAYG program. The infusion of debt capital will catalyze Hello Tractor’s expansion into Northern Kenya. Hello Tractor aims to use these funds to deploy up to 22 tractors and a farm mechanization hub in the region through its PAYG model. The hubs have a production system focus, and Hello Tractor is looking to focus on mechanizing the animal feeds value chain to build resilience within pastoralist communities. This expansion is well aligned with global trends in collaborative consumption and sustainability and is poised to transform the lives of farmers confronted with climate change.

Jehiel Oliver, CEO of Hello Tractor, shared his vision. “Our goal centers around economic growth and prosperity for African economies,” he said. “We see a tremendous opportunity to serve low-income populations in rural sectors, digitize the production system, and unlock value for farmers and the broader ecosystem that serves them. By digitizing small farmers who are looking to grow commercially, we are setting the foundation for a more prosperous and inclusive agricultural economy.”

The Role of the Impact for Northern Kenya Fund

The Impact for Northern Kenya Fund, a $30-million impact investment financing vehicle implemented by USAID Kuza, is crucial in lending catalytic capital to financial institutions and SMEs. Focusing on driving economic, social, and environmental growth in Kenya, the Fund prioritizes investments that promote equitable financing, resilient markets, and inclusive business practices.

Ronald Musundi, Senior Investment Manager of the Fund, emphasized the collaboration’s significance. “Our investment in Hello Tractor’s expansion is a testament to our commitment to resilience, innovation, and sustainable growth,” he said. “This partnership represents our dedication to fostering a more robust, gender-inclusive, youth-empowered, and climate-smart agricultural landscape.”

About AV Ventures

AV Ventures is the impact investing arm of ACDI/VOCA that provides innovative financing to small and medium enterprises in West and East Africa and Central Asia through relationships with financial institutions and investors. Learn more.

About Hello Tractor

Hello Tractor is an agricultural technology enterprise that provides tractors and tractor services to rural farmers. To date, Hello Tractor has mechanized the agricultural operations of more than one million smallholder farmers across 18 African countries. Learn more.

About the Impact for Northern Kenya Fund

The Impact for Northern Kenya Fund is a $30-million wholesale lending fund, funded entirely by USAID/Kenya in collaboration with USAID Kuza, that expands lending in underserved northern counties of Kenya. The Fund lends wholesale capital to banks, microfinance institutions (MFIs), savings and credit cooperative organizations (SACCOs), and fintech companies that are committed to expanding their lending in the region. Learn more.

About USAID Kuza

USAID Kuza is an Associate Award under the Feed the Future Kenya Livestock Market Systems Activity, a Leader with Associates (LWA) contracting mechanism, held by ACDI/VOCA. This LWA enables USAID missions in the East Africa region to access specialized services. Learn more.