Kenyan Farmers Find Fertile Soil in North Dakota’s Wil-Rich
Wil-Rich and Wishek, manufactured under the AGCO-Amity JV, builds tillage equipment and heavy-duty disc harrows in rural Wahpeton, North Dakota. The company has sold equipment throughout the world, but had never sold equipment to Kenya.
In September 2012, the U.S. Commercial Service office in Kenya (CS Kenya) escorted a Kenyan delegation to the Big Iron Farm Machinery Show, which is organized in a partnership between the U.S. Commercial Service Fargo office and the North Dakota Trade Office. During the Big Iron visit, the Kenyan visitors saw Wil-Rich and Wishek equipment on display in the Amity booth. In 2015, CS Kenya nominated some of the companies who had gone to Big Iron to participate in a U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) Agribusiness Reverse Trade Mission to the USA, including a stop-over in North Dakota. The visit included one-on-one business appointments, briefings and company site visits in North Dakota, including a visit to see Wil-Rich and Wishek equipment. The USTDA visit was organized with significant input from the CS North Dakota office. In April 2016, one of the Kenyan buyers who had participated in both the Big Iron visit and the USTDA visit, purchased Wil-Rich tillage equipment and Wishek disc harrows which had been initially viewed in 2012 and further studied in 2015.
“The Kenyan connections facilitated by the U.S. Commercial Service Office in North Dakota and USTDA opened new doors for us,” said Mitch Kreps, Director of Global Sales and Marketing at the AGCO-Amity JV in Wahpeton. “Thanks to these connections, we were able to close our first sale to Kenya. I believe that it is the first of many.”
With years of sustained effort from companies, the U.S. Commercial Service domestic and international offices, state and federal partners, high quality agricultural machinery from the United States is increasingly making a positive contribution to the needs of farmers and consumers in Africa.