AgRover: Building Communities by Crossing Paths
by David Wilsonfrom Mobile Agricultural Power Solutions http://www.mobileagpower.com/
The AgRover is a rugged, three-wheel utility vehicle capable of navigating rough, muddy terrain while carrying a 1 ton payload of crops, passengers, farm inputs or other heavy payloads. The AgRover can power farm attachments, such as water pumps, grain mills, and threshers and can also pull small field implements, such as plows, planters, and cultivators. The AgRover was designed to be, and is currently being, manufactured in sub-Saharan Africa from locally available materials.
What's the business opportunity for host and refugee community
Refugees and host-community members can work together in different aspects of the AgRover value chain including manufacturing, operation, selling, purchasing, and maintenance. All of these steps have opportunities for business exchanges between both communities. Entrepreneurial and technically-skilled refugees can partner with host-community members to start-up a business that builds the vehicles. Another opportunity is in a service-based business, providing the AgRover services like a taxi.
How has it been implemented and what impact it had
In Nigeria, 2 have been sold (one was sold to a farm in Calabar and one to an agribusiness) and 1 being used as a pay-for-service vehicle. Several vehicles were sold in Cameroon to a nearby city for garbage collection. Other AgRovers have been built and used with and by universities or local partners in Uganda, Kenya, Colombia, and Guinea.
Our Skills and Experience
I and my team have significant experience training locals and fabricating AgRovers in Cameroon, Nigeria, Kenya, Guinea, and Colombia. We have worked with NGO, university, and business partners in varying contexts. Our company, MAPS, has co-founded a company in Nigeria to manufacture the AgRover. I personally have done multiple farmer-to-farmer trainings with USAID and the US Department of State in Nigeria, Colombia, and Guinea. My focus has been on agriculture, technology, and entrepreneurship.