Positioning Winfield United to Help Farmers Feed the World

crop fields being watered
Client: WinField United, a division of Land O’Lakes
We developed business model concepts to support an agriculture-technology product expansion into the Kenyan farming market.

Experts predict that the global population will exceed 9 billion people by 2050, an increase of almost 2 billion people based on the current population.  Feeding the future population will be a challenge because we’ll need to do so with less land and less water than we have today.  To ensure a reliable food supply, growers worldwide are turning to technology to increase efficiency; optimize planting, growing, harvesting; allow for remote monitoring; control costs and more. 

Winfield United, a Land O’Lakes brand, is committed to helping farmers grow food more sustainably and productively to feed our growing world population.  The company’s proprietary R7® Tool is an industry-leading precision farming solution that provides product performance information and field data to help farmers maximize yields. Its applications include plant variety selection; field data management for real-time response to optimize crop performance and yield; and potential profitability calculations based on input costs and yield.

Weighing agtech expansion into low-income economies

Winfield United wanted to understand if an expansion of its R7® tool into low-income economies could create social value for the farmers and financial return for the company. While the R7® Tool is used to manage millions of acres of farmland in North America, Winfield United acknowledged that entry into emerging markets would require a fundamental reassessment of the technology and supporting business model. RTI Innovation Advisors provided the strategic innovation services Winfield United needed to weigh entry into emerging markets.   

We collaborated with Winfield United to evaluate potential countries and selected Kenya for further research. Through extensive in-field research and analysis, we identified key stakeholders, decision-makers and influencers in the Kenyan agricultural value chain and helped our client understand their different needs. We researched the market environment, macroeconomic dynamics, and competition (this included landscaping existing and emerging technology features).

Defining business models that derive social and financial value

We used this information to define six sustainable business models in Kenya and evaluated each model based on target customer segment, costs, probable partners and potential revenue. We narrowed the six to three that would derive the greatest social and financial value.  

To support Winfield United’s expansion efforts, we informed them of the

  • challenges of defining “social value”
  • importance of clarifying where the company wanted to be along the spectrum of maximizing financial return versus social value
  • need to identify small-scale pilots that can be launched quickly and cost-effectively.

Winfield United used our insights to define a market entry strategy for the R7® Tool and to plan pilots to test our recommended business models.


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