Agriculture and farming in Kenya


Number of agricultural advertisements in Kenya:10138 ads
Number of agricultural events in Kenya:0 events
Number of agricultural companies in Kenya:746 companies

Agriculture in Kenya

Kenya is situated in eastern Africa. Country is bordered on the east by Somalia and the Indian Ocean, on the north by Ethiopia and Sudan, on the west by Uganda and on the south by Tanzania. It has a total area of 582,646 square kilometres with the land covering 571,466 kilometres square. Kenya has diverse climates with a mean annual rainfall ranging from less than 250 mm in arid and semi-arid areas which cover over 80% of the country’s landmass, to 2,000 mm in high potential areas.

Soils vary in texture from sand to clayey type, in depth from shallow to very deep and in fertility from high to low.

Major Soil Types in Kenya are as follows:
Andosols (young volcanic soils)  occur in areas with steep slopes and high-rainfall. By rainfall over 1000 mm per year, andosols are exposed to excessive leaching.  Andosols are porous, have a high water-storage capacity and a low bulk density.
Nitisols occur in highlands and on volcanic steep slopes, for example in the central highlands of Kenya, some areas of the Ethiopian highlands and around Mts. Kenya and Kilimanjaro. They are developed from volcanic rocks and have better chemical and physical properties than other tropical soils.
Acrisols, Alisols, Lixisols and Luvisols - these soils occur in the coffee zones in the sub-humid areas, on undulationg to hilly topography. They show an increase of clay content in the sub-soil (B-Horizon). The sub-soil is often not very porous, impeding root spreading.
Ferralsols occur on gently undulating to undulating topography. They are very old, highly weathered and leached soils, and therefore with a poor fertility, which is restricted to the top soil, as the subsoil has a low cation exchange capacity.
Planosols and Vertisols occur on very gently undulating to flat topography, mostly in rice growing areas e.g. Mwea in Krinyaga District and Kano plains in Nyanza Province. They are found in semi-arid and sub-humid environments.

Agricultural production in Kenya is largely rain-fed and dominated by smallholder farmers whose land holding is between 0.2-3.0 hectares; accounting for about 75% of the total agricultural output and 70% of the marketed agricultural produce.

These farming systems can be categorized as:
- small scale integrated crop-livestock/fish-tree farming systems;
- crop-tree systems;
- crop-livestock tree systems;
- rice-fish integrated systems
- fish poultry systems.

Agriculture is on of the most important drivers of Kenya’s economy and food systems. It is a major source of livelihood for the majority of the people in terms of food security, economic growth, incomes, employment creation, and foreign exchange earnings. The sector which comprises of crops, livestock, fisheries and agroforestry contributes about 51% of Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (26% directly and 25% indirectly). It accounts for over 65% of exports and employs more than 40% of the total population and over 80% of the rural population.

The sector is dominated by smallholder rain-fed production farming systems of between 0.2 and 3 hectares, which account for 78% of total agricultural production and 70% of commercial production Agricultural production in Kenya is largely rain-fed and dominated by smallholder farmers whose land holding is between 0.2-3.0 hectares; accounting for about 75% of the total agricultural output and 70% of the marketed agricultural produce.

The main food crops include: cereals (maize, wheat, sorghum, rice, millet); pulses (beans, pigeon pea, cowpea, chickpea, green grams); and, roots and tubers (sweet potato, Irish potato, cassava, arrow root and yam). The staple crops are maize, rice, wheat, sorghum, potato, cassava, vegetables and beans.

Maize is the most important and widely consumed food crop in Kenya. It is the staple food crop for 96% of the population with 125 kg per capita consumption and provides 40% of the calorie requirements.

Bean is also important accounting for 17.9% of the total harvested area. The demand for rice in Kenya exceeds production and the gap between production and consumption is filled through importation. The current rice production is estimated at 150,000 metric tons from about 25,000 hectares of land, which meets only 20% of the total demand. Rice is produced both under irrigation and upland conditions. Small quantities of rice are produced along river valleys especially in smallholder irrigation schemes.

Sorghum and millet have been credited with characteristics of tolerance to drought, soil salinity and ability to withstand flash floods and high temperatures. They have short growth cycles, making use of short duration rains to attain full development. Generally, there is increasing trend in sorghum and millet production in the country.

The industrial crops mainly include: tea, coffee, sugar cane, cotton, sunflower, pyrethrum, barley, tobacco, sisal and coconut, all of which contribute 55% of agricultural exports.

Kenya produces about 400,000 tonnes of raw sugar annually while annual consumption is 600,000 tonnes, which necessitates importation from COMESA countries and elsewhere to meet the demand.

The horticulture crops include: cut flowers, vegetables, fruits, nuts, herbs and spices.

Livestock production in Kenya

The livestock subsector has important role in the overall economy and livelihoods of a large proportion of rural population. Majority of the livestock is in arid and semi-arid lands which account for more than 80% of Kenya’s landmass. The ratio of livestock numbers in pastoral areas estimated as per IGAD 2017 methodology as cattle 44%, sheep 57%, goats 50% and camels at 100%. The key livestock subsectors are beef, dairy, sheep, goats, camel, poultry, piggery and emerging livestock. The value of marketed livestock and livestock products increased by 8.3% to KES 146.8 billion in 2018 from 2017.

Beef cattle population in the country is estimated at 9 million with the main beef species being East African Zebu, Boran, Sahiwal and cross-breeds. On average, the country produces 320,000 tonnes of beef annually worth KES 62.1 billion. Camel is also an important ruminant mainly kept in the northern Kenya due to his ability to withstand very harsh climate. The camel produces milk, meat, income and serves as pack animals. Currently, 900,000 camels are producing 7000 tonnes of meat worth KES 1 billion, and 200 million litres of milk worth KES 2 billion annually The non-ruminants include poultry, rabbits and hares and pigs The 2000-2010 period to 2011-2018, the non-ruminant average population has increased by 77%, 43.9% and 35.4% for pigs, chicken and rabbits and hares respectively. The population trend of the rabbits and hares have stagnated all the years probably due to the limited knowledge of it as an emerging production system. The population for chicken has been on the increase for the past decade. The increase could be attributed to chicken being used to diversify incomes as they are not climate dependent.

Apiculture also known as bee production is an important economic activity in Kenya. The country produces an estimated 100,000 metric tonnes of honey and 140 tonnes of beeswax annually. According to the National Farmers Information Service (NAFIS), 80% of honey comes from pastoral areas and specifically from the ASAL traditional log hives.

Forestry industry in Kenya

Agroforestry is very important in Kenya and has been adopted by farmers for many years. Some of the major agroforestry systems in Kenya include agrosilvicultural, silvipastoral and agrosilviculture. Agrosilviculture: In this system selected tree species are integrated in production systems. Examples include, among others, Taungya or Sha system,trees on cropland and boundary planting. Silvopastoral: This entails integration of trees in livestock production system Examples include most systems of trees in pastures and apiculture involves use of trees to raise bees for honey. Agrosilvipastoral entails integration of crops, trees and pasture or annuals' one system. Examples are woody perennials on cropland for fodder, green manure, home gardens including a number of woody plants that are grown with crops and provide fodder for livestock.

Fish industry in Kenya

Although Kenya is classified as a water-scarce country the fishery resources play a critical role in household food and nutrition security. The subsector contributes about 0.5% of the national GDP annually. The two main sources of fish are fresh water and the ocean, with fresh water accounting for the dominant 85% of the national fish production.

The most common fishes in Kenya are:
freshwater and diadromous fish ,
demersal marine fish,
pelagic marine fish,

The Nile perch is the most commercially important species in the export trade, contributing about 90% in both volume and monetary value of Kenya’s total fish exports. Exportable Nile perch products include the fillet, fish maws, and the gutted, headless whole fish. Marine fish products such as crustaceans (prawns, lobsters and crabs), molluscs (octopus and squid), marine fish, freshwater crayfish, and small quantities of live ornamental fish are also exported.

Kenya has a 640 km coastline along the Indian Ocean. The artisanal fleet comprising some 2 000 sailing dhows, dugouts, outriggers, and other small boats, mostly non-motorised, works out of the larger ports of Lamu, Malindi, Mombasa, Shimoni, and Vanga, as well as from numerous local landing sites.

Inland production accounts for around 96 - 97% of annual national total production for capture fisheries, and virtually all of this derives from the waters of Lake Victoria. The largest inland water body lying within Kenya's borders, Lake Turkana, together with the smaller Rift Valley lakes of Baringo and Naivasha, several minor lakes and reservoirs, and a number of rivers within the Victoria.

Kenya's portion of Victoria covers about 6% (4 080 km2) of the total lake area. There are over 200 landing beaches and over 6 000 artisanal fishing craft distributed across four administrative districts bordering the Kenya shoreline. Kisumu Town serves as the major marketing and processing centre for the entire region, although fish can also be transported by refrigerated truck directly from local landing sites to Nairobi.

Agricultural markets Kenya

ATF Greens Limited

Kisumu Market

Kitale Market

Mombasa Market

Nairobi Market

Nakuru Market

West Market Eldoret Market

Agricultural advertisements in Kenya, buy and sell classified ads

2004 New HollandNew Holland 6610

1214285.0 KES

Horse box fit 3x Horses with ramp

857142.0 KES


107142.0 KES

Chicken manure for sale

285.0 KES

3.5 x 1.8 cattle trailer

285000.0 KES

John Deere 2140 4x4

1321428.0 KES

2015 Crafter 22 seater

1392857.0 KES

6.5 KVA Generator for sale

46428.0 KES

Agricultural companies in Kenya


Suraya Business Park

Rezwirld Services


RibishSugal&Sons Ltd

16273 - 00610 Nairobi

Rickmans steak and bones


Risco Ventures Limited

P.O Box 74506

Rumalcom Exporters


Ryamic Enterprises




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