Sharing tractors? There’s an app for that. - Grist


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every plow and then

Sharing tractors? There’s an app for that.

When a farmer in India’s countryside needs to plow the fields, a tractor can be driven right to the farm. It just takes a few clicks on a phone.

Mahindra & Mahindra, the Indian automaker, developed Trringo to make tractors more affordable. Using the app, farmers can rent a tractor for 400 to 700 rupees an hour, according to the New York Times. Tractors in India normally cost more than 250,000 rupees (about $3,750) — a pricy investment for equipment that sits idle for much of the year.

One small hitch: Few farmers in rural India have mobile phones with internet access (but farmers can place orders by calling the company on a standard phone).

Trringo rolled out in the state of Karnataka in September and will be available in other parts of the country soon. For now, renting out a local tractor is the best option for many Indian farmers. Unfortunately, prices tend to surge when they’re needed most, at the whim of equipment owners.

If Trringo’s next step goes according to plan, we could be looking at an Uber for rice transplanters, too. Gotta love the 21st century.