Achieving Strategic Agricultural Growth in Kenya
In Kenya, millions of livelihoods depend on agriculture, which contributes about one-third of the country’s annual gross domestic product, employs 40% of the population and has critical impacts on household and community nutrition. Inclusive, agriculture-led growth has the potential to propel Kenya’s economy into higher-income status, particularly via increased regional and global trade opportunities.
The Feed the Future Kenya Crops and Dairy Market Systems Activity, implemented by RTI International, has worked to increase agricultural production and productivity while also reducing poverty and malnutrition by spurring competitive, inclusive and resilient market systems in the horticulture and dairy sectors. To date, the project has partnered with more than 4,129 private sector players, leveraged $23 million in private sector investment toward agribusiness expansion and facilitated access to markets and improved technologies and practices for 263,470 farmers, spurring over $103 million in producer and firms sales.
To help inform the project’s work and provide evidence-based information to Kenya’s market actors, in 2021 RTI commissioned an analysis to articulate the key constraints and opportunities related to growth in Kenya’s agriculture sector with a primary focus on mango, avocado, passion fruit and dairy, feed and fodder. Through a series of more than 120 stakeholder interviews, as well as an analysis of existing reports about Kenya’s agriculture sector, the consulting firm Boston Consulting Group:
- Identified specific end markets that present trade opportunities for Kenyan producers and processors in the target value chains
- Determined root causes to constraints that curtail private sector engagement and investment in high-potential markets
- Recommended specific market system changes for improved and expanded performance in the value chains’ domestic, regional and international markets
The attached summary brief outlines the top findings from the analysis, including key constraints and recommendations.
Ultimately, the analysis underscores that Kenya has an opportunity to benefit from its dairy and horticulture sectors through increased investment. Such investments have the potential to improve the nation’s economic, social, nutritional and environmental outcomes. This will only be achieved through collective and coordinated action among public, private and nongovernmental actors to codevelop appropriate strategies, fund them and manage their implementation. This holistic approach can drive increased incomes, strengthen the livelihoods of millions of Kenyans and provide more affordable and nutritious food, all while helping protect and restore Kenya’s natural resources.