The agriculture sector in Kenya is diverse and complex. There are subsistence and commercial farmers with small, medium and large scale farms. The most common and economically important farming systems are the small scale mixed farms (crops/ animals/ trees) of 0, 2-3 hectares in size.
These farms account for 75 % of the total agricultural output and 70 % of the marketed agricultural produce in the country. Kenya’s agro-ecological diversity gives ample possibilities to produce a wide range of temperate, tropical and subtropical products. However, areas with adequate rainfall for crop production occupy only 16 % of the land area; the remaining 84 % is of low or non-existing potential for rain-fed crop production (arid and semi-arid lands).
The agriculture sector has an important role as a driver of economic and social development in Kenya. National development strategies, such as Vision 2030, emphasize the importance of the agriculture sector. Agriculture contributes 26 % of the GDP directly (2010) and another 25 % indirectly. It accounts for 65 % of Kenya’s total exports and provides more than 18 % of the country’s formal employment and over 70 % of informal employment in the rural areas.