Agriculture is the main stay of Kenya's economy, providing livelihood to approximately 75 per cent of the rural population. It accounts for one-third of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), generating about 60 per cent of the total foreign exchange earnings. In addition, agriculture provides direct employment to over 274,000 people. The sector has strong forward and backward linkages with the manufacturing sector providing most of the basic raw material inputs to local agri-industries.
The major agricultural activities in Kenya are crop production, horticulture, dairy and livestock farming. As a result of the varied ecological zones, a wide range of crops are cultivated and livestock reared. Traditionally, the major foreign exchange earners have been tea, coffee and horticulture. Other products exported from Kenya are sisal, cut flowers, cashew nuts, pyre thrum, fruits and vegetables, beef and dairy cattle.
The livestock industry comprises mainly of dairy, meat production and hides and skins from cows, sheep, goats and poultry. It accounts for about 7 per cent of Gross Domestic Product. The sector is also dominated by small scale producers.
The horticultural sector is one of the fastest growing sectors. The main export products are cut-flowers, French beans, pineapples, mushrooms, asparagus, mangoes, avocados, passion fruits, melons etc.
A number of tour operators offer agricultural tours, according visitors the opportunity to visit production areas, see the activities at all the stages of production as well as sample the final product. For more information, please contact those of our Members who offer such tours.