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U.S., Kenyan Agricultural Companies Announce $12.8 Million in Agreements during U.S. Government-Sponsored Roadshow

Coordinator for the Prosper Africa Initiative British A. Robinson delivers opening remarks at the U.S.-Kenya Business Roadshow in Chicago.

Chicago, IL – U.S. and Kenyan companies in the agriculture sector announced $12.8 million in new co-investments today during a U.S.-Kenya Business Roadshow hosted by the U.S. government’s Prosper Africa initiative and the U.S. Embassy in Kenya.

The event in Chicago gathered leading U.S. businesses and investors, along with a high-level delegation of Kenyan government officials, to draw attention to the trade and investment potential in Kenya’s agriculture sector. Participants included Land O’Lakes, John Deere, Hello Tractor, Boeing, Equity Bank, and Victory Farms, among others.

Delivering on the commitments made at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, Prosper Africa Coordinator British A. Robinson announced the 13 new Prosper Africa co-investments. The co-investments are expected to generate nearly $34 million in Kenyan exports.

“The African continent presents an almost limitless opportunity for business and investors looking for attractive markets to do well and do good,” said Robinson. “When you partner with Prosper Africa, you join the pursuit for strong returns that can also drive positive global change and take your enterprise to scale.”

(L-R) CEO of Equity Bank James Mwangi, Coordinator for the Prosper Africa Initiative British A. Robinson, and VP of Production Systems, Small Ag, and Turf Jason Brantley attend the U.S.-Kenya Business Roadshow on September 13, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jeff Schear/Getty Images for Kenya Business Roadshow)

Held at the Art Institute of Chicago, the event highlighted regulatory reforms to enhance Kenya’s business environment and investment opportunities for U.S. agriculture companies to drive business growth and supply chain diversification.

Kenya’s agriculture sector offers a key opportunity for U.S. investors. In 2022, Kenya’s food and agricultural exports to the United States increased by nearly 19 percent to $190 million.

“Africa stands as the last and largest emerging market,” U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman told participants. “Kenya’s agri-exports generated $1.03 billion in revenue in 2022. This sector plays a pivotal role in Kenya’s economy and provides livelihoods for 75 percent of its workforce.”.

(L-R) Ambassador Meg Whitman, U.S. Ambassador to Kenya; James Mwangi, CEO, Africa and Asia, Equity Bank; Jay Ireland,Milele Energy; Jane Maigua, Exotic Nuts, CEO; Jason Brantley, VP/Sales & Marketing, John Deere

The new co-investments will connect American buyers with Kenyan agri-businesses, creating jobs in Kenya and across the United States. The co-investments include:

  • Kenya Private Sector Alliance will facilitate Kenya’s transition to a circular economy through collaboration across the plastic packaging sector, the private sector, and the informal sector.
  • Delish & Nutri will implement interventions to ensure aflatoxin-safe groundnuts are produced and manufactured through their Nairobi-based factory.
  • Semiconductor Technologies will expand the number of Kenya engineers in their company, endow two annual fellowships and build 15 semiconductor tools for domestic sale and export.
  • Victory Farms will scale tilapia production by leveraging underutilized smallholder land and employ at least 25 smallholders at their ponds, with an estimated 4x wage increase from their current income.
  • T3 EPZ will establish plastic recycling aggregation hubs at strategic locations across the country, which will serve as designated sites for individual collectors to sell their post-consumer plastics.
  • Bio Foods Products will increase awareness of aflatoxin and aflatoxin-related health effects and enable dairy farmers to mitigate the aflatoxin levels in their outgoing milk.
  • Watamu Marine Association Community Initiative will build and expand plastics collection and recycling capacity and operations, develop partnerships and client base to boost the plastic value, and merge project partners and form a new PLC for expansion.
  • Kentaste Products will expand and improve its operations to significantly increase their export supply and establish the U.S. market as their primary export channel.
  • Vert will enhance dried mango and pulp processing capacity, production capacity, and exports; increase its smallholder farmer source base; and create full-time jobs for women and youth.

These new co-investments build on the $55 million in apparel-focused deals announced at the inaugural U.S.-Kenya Business Roadshow in New York City in April 2023. These investments demonstrate the United States’ commitment to strengthening its economic partnership with Kenya.

The Chicago event is part of a U.S.-Kenya Roadshow tour to showcase Kenya as an attractive investment destination to U.S. investors and present lucrative investment opportunities. The U.S. roadshow, which kicked off on April 25 in New York City, will move to San Francisco on September 15 where it will focus on the technology sector. Each stop features a mix of panel discussions, business matchmaking, and networking.

(L-R) David Auerbach, Sanergy, Co-Founder; Brian McKenzie, Kentegra, CEO; Linda Davis, Giraffe Bio Energy, CEO; Jehiel Oliver, Hello Tractor, CEO; Oyana Lusk, Koko Networks