I looked into the affordability of the tractor and found out that Hello Tractor does in-fact coordinate low-cost financing to assist low level farmers in smart tractor purchases. For the most part, it appears that Hello Tractor’s main clients are NGO’s and private sector players who can afford batch purchases of the tractor. I think another key here is that farmers will maximize their productivity which will in turn provide them with more income. Also, farmers are able to provide ancillary services to neighboring farmers using their smart tractor, this introduces another source of income. This optionality provides financial sustenance to afford tractor upkeep.
I believe that access to credit is realistically available but there is definitely more that can be done in terms of opening more lines of credit to farmers. I think one obvious form of collateral in this case would be the actual land that the farmers are using. However, the issue of land rights in Nigeria make this relatively difficult. Your comment on maintenence CapEx is well noted, I’m not sure what the exact costs related to those expenses are. Nevertheless, I am aware that the smart tractor does reduce production costs by up to 60% according to this Hello Tractor presentation: http://agtech.partneringforinnovation.org/servlet/JiveServlet/previewBody/1337-102-1-1452/Hello%20Tractor_Teaser.pdf
Wow great post! Watson clearly has the potential to make a cataclysmic impact. The way I see it, once Watson becomes more sophisticated and is able to deliver medical care, physicians will be able to spend more of their time conducting research. I am confident that this shift will fuel innovation in the medical field. Also, I realize that dooctors may be concerned about their job function being taken over by computers, hoewever, I see Watson more as an opportunity than a threat. Phycisians can collaborate with Watson to come up with optimal treatments for patients, similar to what the “Best Doctors” program is accomplishing at Sloan Kettering. (The link below porvides details about this program)
Great post Sotaro. After reading this, a few questions come to mind, “To what extent do municipalities present a channel for cybercrime to exist, and do they risk becoming pointless once they begin exploring the use of DLT?” I ask because networks such as Bitcoin are popular because they provide an alternative non-regulated market. If central governments aren’t able to regulate DLT networks then they will have trouble instituting their monetary policy. Also, networks like Bitcoin are notorious for having difficulties tracking criminal activity, if this issue is not resolved than the implementation of these networks will be a challenge for central banks. I’ve included an article below that reviews these issues.
Interesting post Steve. This technology seems pretty impactful. I’m curious to know what the cost-benefit analysis on the LettuceBot reveals. The machine appears capital intensive, are farmers receiving an economic beneift that justifies investing in this technology? Also, I see the negative societal view on pesticides potentially affecting the success of this technology. As society demands that farmers find alternative solutions to getting rid of weeds, separate from using chemicals, the LettuceBot is at risk of losing its usefulness. All things considers, Blue River Technologies seems like a up and comer, I’m definitely following this company going forward.
Interesting. It is my understanding that renewable energy alternatives are traditionally expensive to pursue. I’m curious to know how much BP has invetsed in R&D to accelerate innovation in the renewable energy sector. Since oil is the back-bone of BP’s business, will BP look like a new company in the future?
Great post Marianna. I noticed that managing costs seem to be a recurring theme in your text. I understand why costs are such a debated topic amongst Brazilian agencies, as any fiduciarily responsible company aims to maximize profitability. My question is, what if the cost of not investing in alternatives eventually outweighs the upfront cost of changing the system now?
Nice work Bargav. I wonder, as the dairy-free market is expected to reach $35B by 2024 (http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do?pageId=8285&catId=1), how will the issues you covered above impact Silk marketshare growth? If Whitewave is able to maintain or even grow Silk’s position in the dairy-free market, I’d be interested to see what tactics they used to combat the water issue.
Interesting perspective Van. I’m always concerned about how these quasi-governmental institutions that work in “third-world” countries engage the public and private sector organizations within said country, specifically when the quasi-governmental institution is providing aid. Particularly, I want to ensure that organizations like the World Bank are enabling communities to find solutions to their own problems and partnering with them in ways that enhances the knowledge of the local institutions. In this case, I think the World Banks’s cause is noble. I’d like to see how their efforts in Haiti develop
Great post Piersten,
Situations like this, where the company’s operations is a primary contributor to climate change, are tricky. On one hand, it is reasonable to think, “Why doesn’t H&M completely discontinue any business functions that are damaging the environment?”, on the other hand, one may consider, “Is it reasonable to expect businesses to be environmentalist in conjunction with operating their core business?”. I’m not sure if I know the answer. I am curious how H&M would measure the impact of making continued efforts to educate its customers and whether the financial implication are sustainable (no pun intended). Going forward, H&M must be more introspective and determine what type of company it wants to be.
Also, what are other fast-fashion retailors doing? H&M is taking the lead in embracing sustainability, I’d like to know whether other fashion companies are following suit.