The MAPS AgRover is a utility vehicle designed to meet the needs of farmers and agricultural businesses in developing countries. These people traditionally spend a substantial amount of time and effort with transportation and manual labor. This farming helper is more affordable than a car, can carry more people than a motorcycle, and unlike Chinese trike competitors, offers a durable chassis with options for utility attachments.
This durable vehicle has several unique and desired characteristics for developing regions of the world. These include low manufacturing costs, replacement parts that are readily available, local maintenance, and a carrying capacity of 2000 lbs. With the ability to power attachments like food processors and water pumps, the product can also pull small field implements such as planters and cultivators. Powering attachments and pulling implements, which others cannot, gives the machine a competitive edge on the the agricultural market.
Further, testing has shown fuel economies of 40 to 60 mpg (18 to 26 km/l) for the 10 hp diesel engine option under heavy to light loading.
Every component on the vehicle can be found or made in developing countries. As Maps AgRover is made locally and the parts sourced locally, the vehicle can be maintained with significantly less hassle and cost when compared to most imported equipment, particularly agricultural equipment.
Many areas in Africa and other parts of the developing world are in desperate need for better transportation and agricultural solutions. For example, Cameroon has a mere 19 motor vehicles per 1000 people and 92% of the roadways are unpaved. The lack of motorized transportation and quality road infrastructure leads to significant losses. Farmers in particular are affected as there is poor connectivity to markets in rural areas, meaning that food can spoil before it reaches its destination. As significant portions of the population live in rural areas, they are dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. With most farm work being done by hand with little to no agricultural mechanization, an affordable solution that can navigate difficult rural terrain is required.
The AgRover is not only able to transport goods on poor roads where other motor vehicles can’t go, it can deliver farm produce to markets in a timely and affordable way. This means farmers can save time and money. With the capacity of powering auxiliary equipment such as water pumps, generators, and food processors, users don’t have to buy separate powers source for such equipment; the AgRover can be used as a mobile unit for powering them. Finally, the AgRover can be used for some small-field operations such as cultivating and planting, harvesting, tilling and threshing thereby reducing the time and energy needed for such tasks.
The company is initially targeting large and medium scale farms, estimated at 2.8 million farms. This will be expanded to the small scale farm market with an estimated size of 14 million farmers in Nigeria.*
* The Economic Role of Nigeria’s Subsistence Agriculture in the Transition Process: Implications for Rural Development, 2011, by Apata, T.G. , Corporate Nigeria - Agricultural Overview, and FAOSTAT)
The MAPS AgRover can be maintained and repaired locally, reducing ongoing costs. While many target customers can afford the product directly, for those who cannot, government subsidies are available in most of the West Africa region. Farmer cooperatives and financial institutions can also assist in financing the individual or cooperative purchase of the AgRover.
Since the AgRover will be manufactured locally, it will create jobs in the region as well as provide an opportunity for the employees to improve life quality. The company estimates that the factory will employ over 120 workers between engineering, assembly, facility maintenance employees over 5 years
MAPS-International will act as the parent company that owns shares of local companies (e.g. MAPS-Nigeria), which will be partially owned locally. These local companies will manufacture, market, and sell the vehicles. MAPS-International will bring engineering expertise, new products, and supply chain management to each local company. MAPS-International will reinvest some of its share of the local-companies profits in new locations and products.
- Truss-shaped chassis ensuring lightweight and strength
- The frame is made of commonly available angle iron
- Three wheels instead of four simplifies the vehicle and reduces the cost.
- Suspension on all three wheels, reducing high-stresses in the frame and ride quality.
- A trailing arm with a torsion bar is used for the rear suspension, providing high roll stiffness which reduces the probability of rollover situations.
Organization: Mobile Agricultural Power Solutions (MAPS)
Contact: David Wilson
Used in: West Africa