Farm mechanization levels across Uganda are very low. Mukusu Motors aims to change this by offering mechanization services for hire to smallholder farmers through a digital booking platform called Hello Tractor.
To create demand for these services, Mukusu is organizing demonstration events across Eastern Uganda. These events expose farmers to the range of functions that tractors can offer beyond just ploughing, such as harrowing, planting and harvesting. It costs around EUR 25 per acre for a first ploughing, as opposed to EUR 20 for traditional ploughing methods. With manual labour becoming ever harder and costlier to secure, it is only a matter of time before this price difference diminishes to the point where labour will be more expensive than hiring a tractor.
More importantly, mechanized tilling has the potential to increase yields by up to 50% per acre through better soil preparation and more consistent planting. Compared with traditional land preparation methods, a lot of time is saved which can then be used for poultry, livestock, and other off-farm activities, or more school time for children that help on farms. For farmers who rent land, reduced man-hours means that they can rent more farmland and increase both their productivity and returns. Mukusu will launch the Hello Tractor app later this year, giving smallholder farmers across Eastern Uganda access to affordable tractor services.