Updated Mar 01, 2018

The AgRover

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David Wilson

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Stage 3: Proof of Concept

In 2016, MAPS started the first dedicated workshop for production of the AgRover. Located in Lagos, Nigeria, the workshop employees four technicians who are being trained in manufacturing AgRovers. The first AgRover was completed and demonstrated in February, 2017 and is on its way to the first MAPS customer. Another five vehicles have been started. In 2016, an AgRover was also built and tested in Eldoret, Kenya in partnership with the Tumaini Innovation Center.
Prototypes have been built and are being used in these locations:
  • Farm in Niger Delta area of Nigeria
  • Tumaini Innovation Center, Eldoret, Kenya
  • ACREST, Cameroon
  • ISAV, Guinea
  • Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda

The AgRover was developed by students throughdesign projects at Purdue University and in partnership with the African Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology (ACREST, http://www.acrest.org), an NGO in Cameroon. Over the last seven years, sevenprototypes have been manufactured locally in Cameroon and there are currently 3 vehicles that operate daily to assist ACREST. ACREST has rented out the AgRovers to local farmers to collect and transport their harvest.In just the last 2 years, 8 AgRovers have been built in 6 countries.

Focus Areas:

Agriculture, Cultivation & Tools, Post Harvest and 4 MoreSEE MORE

Agriculture, Cultivation & Tools, Post Harvest, Processing & Production, Energy, Energy Efficiency and EngineeringSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya and 3 MoreSEE MORE

Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya, Guinea, Cameroon and United StatesSEE LESS

Lives Impacted to Date
Countries Implemented In
Funds Raised to Date

Mission and Vision

Mobile Agricultural Power Solutions, LLC (MAPS) is poised to fill this gap in the market with our unique, multipurpose solution, the MAPS Agrover. The Agrover is a utility vehicle which can be likened to a small truck or tractor. It can carry up to 900 kg on or off road, power attachments, and pull field implements. The vehicle can be manufactured in Nigeria from parts and materials available locally. The simple yet proven design keeps the cost low but provides high utility. Practically all trucks and tractors currently in Nigeria are imported and expensive. Additionally, the supply chain for replacement parts for agricultural equipment is more expensive and slow compared to commonly available road vehicles. The MAPS Agrover is a unique vehicle because of it’s high utility and low cost. It is locally manufactured, which reduces costs, and is easily sustained because replacement parts are readily available. The target beneficiaries are smallholder farmers across Nigeria. More than 90% of agricultural output in Nigeria is from farms of less than 2 hectares (2010 NBS/CADP Baseline Survey Report, 2010). In 2004, 84.5% of farm holdings, or 40.6 million farms, in Nigeria were between 0.10 and 5.99 hectares (Apata, 2011). This is a huge market currently with limited access to affordable mechanization or transportation services. While the MAPS Agrover may not be appropriate for all smallholder farmers to purchase individually, through cooperatives or rental services, the utility of the Agrover can be made available to all of these farmers. Direct customers will be medium size farms, farmer cooperatives, and new or established rental or service businesses. With access to the Agrover, farmers will save time and money doing basic farm tasks like transportation, food processing, or even light tillage. With better market access and production efficiency, farmers will be able to produce more, increasing their incomes and the food supply. Besides benefits to the farmers, local economies will grow because local manufacturing creates jobs as does the rental business. References: (2010). 2010 NBS/CADP Baseline Survey Report. Abuja, Nigeria: National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) - Commercial Agriculture Development Project (CADP). Apata, T. F. (2011). The Economic Role of Nigeria’s Subsistence Agriculture in the Transition Process: Implications for Rural Development. 85th Annual Conference of the Agricultural Economics Society. Warwick University.

Innovation Description

The AgRover is a utility vehicle designed to maximize agricultural productivity while still being affordable in developing regions. This rugged, 3-wheel vehicle is capable of navigating terrain both on and off road while carrying a payload of up to 900 kg. Its lightweight yet strong construction translates into great fuel economies and a top speed approaching 30 km/h. The AgRover is capable of powering attachments and implements like water pumps, maize grinders, threshers, plows, and planters.
How does your innovation work?
The MAPS AgRover is a utility vehicle with a design focused on maximizing agricultural productivity while still being affordable in developing regions around the world. This rugged, three-wheel vehicle is capable of navigating terrain both on and off road while carrying a payload of up to 2000 lb (900 kg). Its lixghtweight yet strong construction translates into great fuel economies and a top speed approaching 20 mph. 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. Apart from being able to transport goods, the AgRover is also capable of powering a variety of attachments and implements like water pumps, maize grinders, generators, threshers, plows, and planters. The AgRover is valuable because it provides farmers and other agricultural businesses access to power and transportation that would otherwise not be possible. This access allows farmers to be overall more productive by providing valuable farming inputs like fertilizer, seed, and water. In many developing countries, most work in rural areas is done manually with few alternatives. The AgRover can provide valuable mobile services right on the farm, bringing in additional revenue and saving farmers time. For example, an entrepreneur could start a small business by traveling from farm to farm to grind maize using a MAPS maize grinder powered by the AgRover in a fraction of the time it would normally take to do by hand. Additionally, access to farming inputs like fertilizer and seed can be made more readily available by providing a more affordable means of transportation.This in turn increases farming yields and revenue. Furthermore, they can now provide irrigation to their crops in irregularly dry seasons by attaching a water pump to the vehicle’s engine. Farmers and other rural businesses can cut down on post-harvest crop losses through the use of the AgRover to transport their goods to local markets promptly to earn additional income. The competitive advantage of the MAPS AgRover is the utility it delivers to its end user when compared to its low purchase price over any other type of vehicle or similar equipment on the market in most developing countries. No other product can perform the diversity of tasks (off road transport, power attachments, pull field implements) like the AgRover can for a similar price. Unlike cars and trucks, the AgRover can traverse off-road, haul large loads, power attachments, pull implements, and costs significantly less. Two wheel tractors can cost less sometimes, but require a trailer to carry a load (often unsafely) and are not manufactured locally. Finally, motorbikes and trikes cost less, but can not carry as much, can not power or pull other equipment, can not travel off road, and are also not manufactured locally. The AgRover has a distinct advantage of being locally manufactured from locally available parts and materials. This is an advantage in both maintainability and affordability. Replacement parts for imported equipment can often not be found in sub-Saharan Africa. Using local materials allows users to be able to locate replacement parts quickly and affordably. Additionally, locally manufacturing a product using local materials cuts costs by eliminating import and transportation costs. Finally, local manufacturing reduces the gap between users and producers, allowing for a more user-centered design.

Competitive Advantage

The utility that the Agrover provides, when paired with its low purchase price, is the ultimate competitive advantage. No other company has produced a locally manufactured solution that can deliver the diverse outputs as the Agrover at a similar price point. Cars and trucks, which often incur importation taxes up to 35% in Nigeria (Nigeria Customs Service, 2016), cannot power attachments, pull implements, and traverse the off-road conditions that the Agrover can. Two-wheel tractors can have a lower price point, however require a separate trailer to carry a given load (often unsafely) and are not manufactured locally. Four-wheel tractors are available by import, but are expensive and also require a separate trailer for transport. Motorbikes and bicycles are a cheaper product, however they offer a lower carrying capacity, often can’t traverse off-road, and cannot power agricultural attachments like irrigation pumps and threshing machines. The local manufacturing of the Agrover not only provides local employment but it also offers a significant longevity of the product as all parts can be sourced and repaired locally. This product offers an appropriate design as it was optimized in close collaboration with the end user. The fuel efficiency is superior when compared with competitors as the Agrover achieves fuel economies between 26 and 18 km/L (62 and 41 mpg) for empty and full loading conditions respectively (Wilson & Lumkes, 2015). References: Nigeria Customs Service. (2016). Retrieved November 30, 2016, from Federal Ministry of Finance: https://www.customs.gov.ng/hscode/resulthscode.php?TYPE=KEY&HSCODE=8703 Wilson, D. D., & Lumkes, J. H. (2015, May). Design of a multipurpose agricultural vehicle and attachments for developing countries. Agricultural Engineering International: CIGR Journal.

Planned Goals and Milestones

We are working with non-profit organizations, farmer cooperatives, and other groups to spread information about the AgRover and perform demonstrations. Expanded use will come through these channels, government interest, renting of the vehicles, and farmer-to-farmer communication.
1.) Manufacture a batch of 10 vehicles and sell or rent them 2.) Aquire funding from investors, grants, loans, etc 3.) Cost reductions
Funding Goal100,000
Projected Cumulative Lives Impacted50,000,000


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Supporting Materials

3075-12226-1-PB (1).pdf