Topic outline

As households that own equipment and draught animals are monetizing agricultural support services, a hire service business is increasingly being viewed as a viable career option for small-scale farmers and aspiring entrepreneurs. This course provides guidance on the technical aspects as well as the business acumen required to set up and run a successful hire service business.


This course is designed for a range of stakeholders with an interest in agricultural mechanization and the basics of running a hire service business. More specifically, the course is targeted towards:

  • Smallholder farmers, farmers cooperatives and rural youth interested in becoming mechanization hire service entrepreneurs.
  • Existing or new mechanization hire service providers along the food value chain.
  • Mechanization and agri-business specialists.
  • Staff from organizations, or farm machinery manufacturers and suppliers providing training in mechanization hire service provision.

  • Importance of planning in the purchase process of tractors, implements and draught animals.
  • Steps of the planning process.
  • Criteria to consider while selecting tractors, draught animals, and implements.
  • Factors contributing to the efficiency of equipment and draught animals - field efficiency, field capacity and machine efficiency.
  • Fixed costs and variable costs.
  • Conducting a cash flow analysis to analyse loan appraisals and loan repayment methods.
  • Things to remember during purchase.

The course consists of 3 lessons, ranging from approximately 15 to 40 minutes duration each:

  • Lesson 1 - Planning the selection of power sources and implements
  • Lesson 2 - Selection criteria and assessment of tractors, draught animals and implements
  • Lesson 3 - Purchase process

The online version of this course runs on the latest versions of the major browsers, such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari.

The downloadable version only runs on Windows PC’s and no additional software is needed.

Digital certification

This course offers certification. You will get your digital badge upon passing a final exam after completing the course and achieving a grade of at least 75%. Please click on the button below to complete the exam, or refer to our Certification section to learn more.

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    • Partners

      International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center German Development Agency German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development