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Nigerian Startup Among 11 to Benefit From Mastercard Start-Path Programme

Hello Tractor, a Nigerian agri-tech startup has been selected to join Mastercard’s Start Path engagement programme among 11 other startups chosen from other parts of the world. The programme strives to grant the startups access to expert mentorship and infrastructure to increase developmental impacts in their various markets.

According to Jahel Oliver, Founder of Hello Tractors, the new partnership with Mastercard would grant the startup the opportunity to unlock additional value for its farmers by expanding their access to banking and payments infrastructure.

Image Credit: Hello Tractor
The partnership would help the startup expand as it diversifies its services as well as boost its delivery in tractor-haling and fintech solutions. In a further statement, Oliver mentioned how the company is “revolutionising how farmers access tractors in a region that has been plagued by low rates of mechanization.”

The new wave of digitalisation that came with the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to reinvent itself, even if it meant healthy collaborations. According to Raghav Prasad, division president for Sub-Saharan Africa at Mastercard, the latest shift toward digitisation and open-banking is transforming the future of commerce and connectivity.

Prasad added that Mastercard’s partnership with the startup is targeted towards continuous development of “the digital economy through ongoing innovations that deliver locally-relevant payment solutions to empower communities and harness Africa’s potential.”

Therefore, the gains from this partnership would help smallholder farmers in the region have more access to mechanised farming and flexible financial services. This would translate into a boost in food production in the region which is already threatened by food insecurity.

In sub-Saharan Africa, the average farmer plants crop 30 days late, grossly limiting harvest. Using Progress Kinvey, Hello Tractor created an innovative mobile app that helped farmers get access to the tools they need to plant on time.

Currently, the startup has captured 75 percent of the Nigerian tractor market and has a major foothold in Kenya and Ghana as well. To date, the largest Hello Tractor account is worth over $6 million

Nigeria and Kenya, are currently its two main markets in the Western and Eastern regions of sub-Saharan Africa respectively.

Nigeria In Focus:

Population - 206.6 million (Compared to South Africa's 59.6 million)

GDP: $504.57 billion (Compared to South Africa's $369.85 billion)

GDP Per Capita: $2,465 (Compared to South Africa's $6,193)