Skip to main content

Uber for farmers: A tractor-hailing app has just launched in India

What is Trringo?
Considering the rapid rise of Uber and its “gig economy” business model, it’s no surprise that a ton of other startups have been trying the formula in the hope of writing their own Uber-style success story.

We’ve seen the Uber for private jets, the Uber for driveway snow removal, the Uber for home services, and even the Uber for trash collection – to name just a few.

The latest to land is the Uber for farmers, reports the NY Times. Sure, there won’t be much call for the service in the heart of Manhattan or some similarly urban location, but for small-scale farmers in India who only need such machinery for part of the year and who can’t afford to buy one outright, the opportunity to hail a tractor could be just the ticket.

While rental services for tractors and other farming equipment already exist in the country, the system can be unreliable, badly organized, and pricey. So Indian vehicle maker Mahindra & Mahindra recently created a new smartphone app called Trringo to try to make life a little easier for the nation’s farmers.

Trringo offers a range of farming equipment at affordable prices, including the all-important tractor. Once the farmer selects what they need, the kit is sent from one of 20 hubs across the southwestern state of Karnataka, where the service has just launched.

India has more than 135 million farmers working with relatively small plots of land, so the tractor-hailing business could turn into something big if it expands across the nation.

It has, however, had to deal with one tricky obstacle. Mobile internet access reaches just 9 percent of rural India at the current time, so the company has put in place a number of phone centers that farmers can call from to arrange delivery.

Commenting on the existing system of machinery rental, Mahindra & Mahindra’s Rajesh Jejurikar told the NY Times, “One of the things that struck us was the toll it took on the self-esteem of the farmer,” adding, “It was, literally, like having to beg for it. He didn’t feel like it was his right.”

With that in mind, India’s enormous community of farmers will be hoping Trring can sow the seeds of a more efficient and affordable rental service.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
India’s lunar mission just got one giant leap closer to the moon
India GSLV Mark III-M1 rocket Chandrayaan-2 moon orbiter

India’s uncrewed lunar mission entered into the moon’s orbit on Tuesday, bringing it within striking distance of its historic goal, according to an announcement from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

The Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft is expected to land on the surface of the moon on September 7, making India the fourth country in the world to land there.

Read more
WhatsApp has 400 million users in India, but no fix for its fake news problem
WhatsApp in India

An Indian newspaper vendor reading a newspaper with a full back page advertisement from WhatsApp intended to counter fake information, in New Delhi on July 10, 2018. Prakash Singh / Getty Images

WhatsApp is struggling to stem the tide of fake news in India, its biggest market. In the last few years, its platform has been inundated with an around-the-clock avalanche of misinformation -- misleading mobs into lynching innocents and enabling partisans to abuse its far-reaching presence for political gain.

Read more
A prototype robotic grocery store has just launched in Tel Aviv
commonsense robotics tel aviv grocery delivery 3

There was a time we thought self-checkout and automatic bagging were cool grocery store innovations. Those might not have become the revolutionary automations we had hoped, but now a new innovative facility in Tel Aviv is aiming to put the Costcos and Sam’s Clubs of the world to shame with a new automated grocery delivery center that uses robots to provide product fulfillment way faster than humans ever could.

It might sound like just another widget in a string of breakthroughs like Amazon’s cashier-less convenience stores but the developer, CommonSense Robotics, has done a lot of research and gotten a lot of things right in figuring out how to deliver products in a future that is changing rapidly.

Read more