Zim’s tech company launches Uber-type app for tractors

Zimbabwe Stock Exchange listed tech company, Cassava Smartech, an off shoot of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, has launched a tractor sharing service app modelled along ride hailing service Uber.

Cassava, which already has its ride sharing services app, Vaya, plans to make ploughing tractors available to farmers within minutes anywhere in Zimbabwe.

According to Cassava Smartech CEO Eddie Chibi, the company plans to register more than 10 000 tractors from the national fleet of more than 15 000 tractors. Tractor owners will be able to offer their tractors to other farmers using the Vaya Tractor App, once they finish tilling their own fields.

The cost of the service will be standardised.? Chibi said at least 10 000 tractors could plough and service 1.5 million small holder farmers if deployed efficiently.

The company will leverage its sister company Econet Wireless’s cell phone network, as well as satellite GPS systems, to deploy the tractors. They will know exactly where each tractor is located, and will be able to deploy them where and when they are needed.

“This is the age of the internet and shared economy. You don’t need to own a tractor. And there is no need to be phoning around, we know each tractor, and have tools that enable us to ensure the farmer and the tractor owner are able to transact,” said Chibi.

“The market opportunity for contract ploughing and mechanisation is over $500 million per annum. This is huge and we can transform agriculture and make it less laborious for all our farmers.