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Selling produce at a local market


Kenya has the largest, most diversified economy in East Africa. More than 75 percent of Kenyans make a key part of their living in agriculture, and the sector accounts for more than one fourth of Kenya’s gross domestic product. Feed the Future efforts in Kenya aim to expand economic opportunities for smallholders and entrepreneurs, build household, community and market resilience to shocks and stresses, and diversify agricultural production.

  • 485 THOUSAND
    Producers using new technologies and practices with Feed the Future’s help in FY18
  • 1.3 MILLION
    Children under 5 reached with nutrition help in FY18
  • $94 MILLION
    Annual agricultural sales generated by Kenyan farms and firms reached by Feed the Future in FY18
  • $1 MILLION
    New private investment leveraged by Feed the Future in FY18


  • 40 PERCENT
    Reduction in the prevalence of stunting in children under 5 in areas where Feed the Future has worked from 2012 to 2015

Key Achievements

In Kenya, Feed the Future has targeted livestock as a key value chain for investment, developing 20 livestock markets in northern Kenya. As a result, nearly 479,000 people have received support to start or strengthen their investments in raising and selling livestock such as sheep, goats, and cattle. This support also drove an increase in fodder sales, resulting in sales worth more than $86,000.

In 2018, Feed the Future unlocked credit worth approximately $4.4 million for more than 42,000 micro, small, and medium enterprises. Through increased credit access, more than 426,000 smallholder farmers have been able to increase their productivity and sell 1.2 million metric tons of produce such as cassava, sweet potato, and mango.


These results reflect data from the U.S. Agency for International Development, the US Department of Agriculture, and U.S. African Development Foundation, reported into Feed the Future’s central monitoring system for fiscal year 2018 (FY18). Impact data for poverty statistics are derived from the 2015 Feed the Future Interim Population-Based Survey for the Northern Areas, and the impact data for stunting statistics are derived from the 2015 Feed the Future Interim Population-Based Survey for the High Rainfall and Semi-Arid Areas. For more information on the indicators above, please view our Feed the Future Indicator Handbook. All dollar amounts are listed in U.S. dollars.


  • Enhance food security and increase incomes through improving the competitiveness and diversity of agricultural market systems and livelihoods
  • Expand and diversify agricultural production and productivity
  • Increase access to financing and investment capital
  • Improve the capabilities of government and private organizations to develop and implement agriculture-led growth policies and programs
  • Increase resilience to climatic and economic shocks and stressors
  • Improve the nutrition of women and children

Zones of Influence in Kenya

Map of Kenya
  • 17 counties in total that encompass:
  • 9 Western Region Counties (high rainfall zone)
  • 3 Eastern Region Counties (semi-arid zone)
  • 5 Northern Kenya Counties (arid and semi-arid zone)

Background Stats

  • 23.2 MILLION
    Population of Kenya (World Bank, 2018)
  • 6.3 PERCENT
    Annual GDP growth; agriculture accounts for 34.2% of added value (World Bank, 2018)
  • 73 PERCENT
    Percentage of population living in rural Kenya (World Bank, 2018)
  • 58.5 PERCENT
    Percentage of people living in poverty in the Feed the Future northern target areas (Feed the Future Population-Based Survey, 2015)

Value Chains

  • Horticulture
  • Dairy
  • Maize
  • Livestock
A member of the Ahero Dairy Farmers cooperative in Kisumu, Kenya carries fresh milk that will be turned into yogurt for sale through the cooperative’s store.


Agriculture is the backbone of Kenya’s economy and central to the Government of Kenya’s development strategy, as well as its Ending Drought Emergencies initiative in the country’s chronically vulnerable arid and semi-arid lands. However, agricultural productivity has stagnated in recent years amid continuing population growth.

This poses critical challenges to food security in the country as 2 to 4 million people receive food aid annually. Moreover, only about 20 percent of Kenyan land is suitable for farming, and maximum yields have not been reached in these areas, leaving considerable potential for increases in productivity. Most farmers work without basic agricultural inputs or updated technology and lack adequate financial or extension services.

While the challenges are great, so are the opportunities. With the largest dairy herd in east and southern Africa, Kenya has the potential to meet local demand for dairy and target regional markets. As one of the largest African exporters of fresh produce to Europe, Kenya’s horticulture industry can expand to domestic, regional and international markets. Markets, in turn, can significantly grow through reforms that address standards and quality, policy constraints, irrigation, roads, agricultural inputs, extension, and market access promotion.

As recurrent crises exacerbate the vulnerability of basic livelihoods, Feed the Future will continue to build resilience and expand economic opportunities in these targeted areas through disaster risk reduction, diversification into higher-value commodities, promoting non-farm enterprises, and strengthening the livestock, dairy, and other vital sectors.

Given agriculture’s key role in improving the nutrition of women and children, Feed the Future continues to employ a market systems approach for nutrition, with a focus on increasing income to purchase safe and nutritious foods, enhancing women’s empowerment for equitable decision-making at the household level, and the production of safe and nutritious foods.


Feed the Future supports the following programs, partnerships and organizations in Kenya.

  • Accelerated Value Chain Development (ILRI)
  • Borlaug Higher Education Agricultural Research and Development (BHEARD)
  • Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Climate-Resilient Sorghum
  • Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Processing and Post-Harvest Handling
  • Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Horticulture
  • Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Integrated Pest Management
  • Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems
  • Increasing Smallholder Farmer Productivity and Profitability (FAO)
  • Integrated Agricultural Research for Development (KALRO)
  • International Fertilizer Development Center
  • Kenya Agriculture Regulatory Capacity Building (KEPHIS)
  • Kenya Crops and Dairy Market Systems Development (RTI)
  • Kenya Investment Mechanism (Palladium), including Development Credit Authority
  • Kenya Resilient Arid Lands Partnership for Integrated Development (Millennium Water Alliance)
  • Livestock Market Systems (ACDI/VOCA)
  • Partnership for Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa (AGRA)
  • Policy Leadership, Interactions, Networks, and Knowledge (LINK) (DAI)
  • Supporting Seed Systems for Development (CRS)
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

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