US and Kenyan companies in the agriculture sector signed deals worth $12.8 million during a US-Kenya Business Roadshow in Chicago.

The event gathered leading US businesses and Kenyan government officials to focus on the trade and investment potential in the East Africa country’s agriculture sector, the US Embassy in Nairobi said in a statement.

Leading US agriculture companies including Land O’Lakes, John Deere, Hello Tractor and Victory Farms among others took part in the event, which was part of a three-city roadshow that took place in New York, Chicago and San Francisco.

The event highlighted regulatory reforms introduced to enhance Kenya’s business environment and investment opportunities for U.S. agriculture companies, the US Embassy said.

Kenya is one of the United States’ most important African trading partners. 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.”

Kenya’s President William Ruto took part in the San Francisco part of the roadshow and also met executives of leading US technology companies Apple, Microsoft and Google’s parent company Alphabet.

(Editing by Seban Scaria