EcoFarmer Vaya Tractor has proved popular with farmers across the country, who are voicing their satisfaction and preference for the service, which was launched last month with the promise to help farmers plough one million hectares within a year.
“We are very excited with the Vaya Tractor service because we do not have a tractor on site and now we can just order the Vaya Tractor as and when we need it,” said Mr Robson Godzi, Operations Manager at a farm in Glen Forest, north of the capital, Harare.
He said the Vaya Tractor team, which carried out chisel ploughing and discing at his farm, were “swift in their deployment and execution”.
“We were very pressed for time and that’s when I heard about the service and ordered the tractor over the phone. It was a very simple process. Their team immediately got in touch with me and came on sight to inspect our field.”
He said after the assessment, the Vaya Tractor team recommended that because some of the land had not been ploughed before, they needed to break the pan with a chisel plough to loosen the soil first.
“Once we agreed, they immediately moved in with their tractor to do the work, and they did a good job,” said Mr Godzi.
In the Mazowe district of Mashonaland West, Mrs Rosina Chisango-Musanhu praised Vaya Tractor for carrying out ripping and ploughing at her farm “in a very short time”.
“We are very happy with the work done by Vaya Tractor,” Mrs Chisango-Musanhu said.
“They did over 25 hactares of our land in preparation for our gumtree woodlots project. We used to have serious problems during the start of the ploughing season because some of the tractor owners are not reliable. But this season, our SAA (Sustainable Afforestation Association) partners advised us that they are now working with the EcoFarmer Vaya Tractor team, and the moment they arrived on sight, we got our ploughing and ripping done in a very short space time.”
Mrs Chisango-Musanhu, who also does maize farming, said she would continue using Vaya Tractor for her other farming projects.
“We can easily now just call these Vaya Tractors anytime from our phones, so this helps a lot and saves time. We will certainly be using them again.”
Mrs Chisango-Musanhu’s sentiments were echoed by Mr Pious Dzembe, another farmer whose 49-hectare project in Nyabira, Mashonaland West, is also supported by SAA.
“The Vaya Tractor team helped us move with our ripping programme very quickly ahead of the rains,” Mr Dzembe said.
“We have over 40 hactares of our farm which is now under gum plantation. We learnt that Vaya Tractor was quick and would help us speed up our operations. They came on sight and recommended the best way to clear and work our land. And now we, for our part, have actually been recommending Vaya Tractors to our fellow farmers”.
Speaking at the official launch of Vaya Tractor last month, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlemen, Hon Perence Shiri, lauded Vaya Tractor for harnessing technology to boost agriculture, and for coming through to narrow the huge tractor, planter and combine harvester deficit in the country.
Vaya Tractor uses its platform to provide farmers with access to tractor owners using the mobile phone. It is a subsidiary of Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe, the diversified technology and fintech company listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.