IBM, an information technology company is partnering with Hello Tractor, a tech startup to improve a mobile application for Farm Tractors. Hello Tractor developed the mobile app, but the company’s partnership with IBM will update it to include a digital wallet. This will help in data sharing and traceability when it comes to the Agricultural machines used in Kenya.
Application That Pairs Tractor Requests With Available Machines
Hello Tractor’s mobile app can be used to request tractor services. What it does, is to match these requests with available tractors that are owned by operators. This helps to deliver the machines on time, thereby allowing operations to take place immediately. Once a request has been paired to an available machine, the number of hours is calculated to determine how long the tractor has been used.
An area of improvement on the app is to ensure that data is captured, tracked, and shared efficiently between parties involved in the hiring process. It is an area that has been found lacking in the current version of the application. Therefore, an improvement will bring about transparency and foster trust between participants
Digital Wallet to Aid in Obtaining, Tracing, and Sharing of Data
Plans have been made to develop a digital wallet within the app itself. IBM Research scientists in Kenya are collaborating with Hello Tractor’s developers to achieve this. As a team, they will employ modern technologies like the Internet of Things, Blockchain Technology and Artificial Intelligence. IBM Cloud and Watson Decision Platform for Agriculture will also be used.
Solomon Assefa, Vice President, Emerging Market Solutions and Director of IBM Research in Africa commented on their partnership. According to him, the company’s vision is to use modern technologies to “digitize, improve, and streamline agricultural business processes.” It will allow new services to be created and bring about efficiency in the industry.
New Mobile App Services to be Launched in 2019
The digital wallet will be launched in the first half of 2019. There are plans that other African countries will also use it. These countries will include Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tanzania. Asides Africa, Pakistan and Bangladesh will also take advantage of the mobile application’s services.
Blockchain technology is fast gaining adoption in Agriculture, as with several other industries. Australia, for instance, has begun a pilot phase of a Blockchain-based platform that helps in tracking the supply chain of beef. This platform helps to reduce counterfeits given the high demand for beef products by ASEAN countries.