Industry Performance

Horticultural Industry in Kenya

Horticulture is the second largest foreign exchange earner in Kenya valued at Kshs 115 billion and with volumes in excess of 150,000MT in 2017 second only to tea.

Industry Success

“The future of the horticulture industry is projected to continue its upward growth at a slightly reduced trend of 9.22 percent compared to the previous trend of 10 percent. Owing to initiatives and measures being pursued by value chain players the industry segments –flowers, vegetables and fruits are expected to register stabilized performance. The industry is further expected to achieve improved control and compliance to market requirements,”

Horticultural Crops Directorate (HCD) former acting interim director Zakayo Magara

Horticultural crops in Kenya include:

  • Cut flowers
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Herbs
  • Spices
  • Ornamentals

The Horticultural sub sector is the fastest growing industry within the agricultural sector, recording an average growth of 15% to 20% per annum and is ranked third in terms of foreign exchange earnings from exports after tourism and tea. It contributes positively to wealth creation, Kenya’s food security, poverty alleviation, and gender equity especially in the rural areas. The industry continues to contribute to the Kenyan economy through generation of income, creation of employment opportunities for rural people (who constitute 80 % of producers), in addition to providing raw materials to the agro processing industry. The sub sector employs approximately 4.5 million people countrywide directly in production, processing, and marketing, while another 3.5 million people benefit indirectly through trade and other activities. Kenya’s economy largely relies on the agriculture sector which contributes 25.3 % of Kenya’s GDP out of which horticulture contributes 5% to Kenya’s GDP and earmarked as a flagship sector for the Vision 2030.

Industry Strength

Currently the future of the horticulture industry is bright and a positive growth is anticipated over the coming years. Kenya is blessed with various endowments which enhances this projection. They include:


Kenya stands to benefit tremendously once it secures her markets as a result of the interventions by the KHC. Efficiency in the use of resources will be realized. Moreover the profile of the horticulture industry as a source of quality products will rise leading to sustained market access. The industry along with both governments will ensure that the measures adopted are sustainable and in tandem with government policy.