County Agricultural Activities

MOMBASA001 Main Crops ProducedThe main crops under cultivation in the county include cassava, cucurbits family, maize, vegetables, millet and sorghum. These are most preferred due to their resistance to diseases and pests. The climatic conditions of the county make plants prone to diseases and pests and therefore, highly resistant varieties are encouraged.

Acreage under Food Crops and Cash Crops

The total acreage under food crops stands at 400 ha while the total acreage under cash crops is 500 ha. Additionally, 340 ha of land are utilized for forestry farming. The County is generally a net importer of food and other agricultural products and this makes the cost of food high and inaccessible to most of the low income earners.

Average Farm Sizes

The average farm sizes for small scale farming is 2.5ha. This is small compared to the high population of the county hence leading to a majority of the food being imported from other counties and countries in order to satisfy the food needs of the county residents.

Main Storage Facilities

The National Cereals and Produce Board storage silo in Changamwe Sub-county serves the entire county. However, it is supplemented by private storage facilities such as the grain bulk handling facilities, and private stores owned by individual businessmen and farmers who use traditional storage methods.


Main Livestock Bred

The main livestock bred in the county include goats, sheep, cattle, chicken and other poultry. The Kenya Meat Commission’s abattoir, which is located in the county, imports animals for slaughter from other counties due to unavailability of beef cattle in the county.

Number of Ranches

The county is predominantly urban and is almost entirely occupied by human settlements and therefore there are no ranches in the county.

Main Fishing Activities, Types of Fish Produced and Landing Sites

The county has 65km2 of open water and access to 40km2 of the Exclusive Ecological Zone (EEZ) which is a high potential fishing ground. The local communities living adjacent to the ocean are however unable to fully exploit the fish potential due to lack of appropriate fishing gear and vessels and the recent attacks by pirates in the Indian Ocean waters. The main types of fish caught include rabbit fish, scavenger, snappers, parrot fish, surgeon fish as well as sharks, lobsters and prawns. There are 14 fish landing sites in the county some of which face the risk of being encroached as is common along and near the beaches and hence made inaccessible.

KWALE002 Irrigation infrastructure and schemes 

Kwale County is predominantly semi-arid, with many of the region’s farmers depending on rain fed agriculture. Reliance on rain fed agriculture makes farmers in the county vulnerable to climate shocks and changes. However, the county has irrigation potential especially in the drier parts of the county such as Kinango Sub County. Moreover, staggered horticultural crops production is significantly viable under irrigation as the county has high potential in water harvesting.

Crop, livestock, fish production and value addition


Agriculture is one of the main economic activities carried out in Kwale County with 85% of farmers practicing subsistence farming. The agricultural sector plays a crucial role in guaranteeing food security, poverty reduction and employment creation in the County. In spite of the importance of agriculture,

food insecurity is still a challenge in the county. Most of the farmers in the county practice mixed farming. The County is divided into various agro-ecological zones (AEZs) in terms of agricultural potential as

shown in the table below:

Zones % of landarea Economic Activities
Coastal lowlands CL2 zone (lowlandmarginal sugar cane zone) 3 Main production area for rain fed rice. Most of thefood crops grown in the district are found here
Coastal lowlands CL3 zone (coconut andcassava zone) 13 Tree crops, food crops and livestock. Cropsincludes cashew nuts, maize and beans while

livestock includes dairy animals

Coastal lowlands CL4 zone (cashew nutand cassava zone) 12 Marginal agricultural potential with cashew nutsdominating the cash crops. Livestock is kept and

crops produced on small scale

Coastal lowlands CL5 zone (livestock andmillet zone) 40 Livestock (cattle, poultry and goats). Subsistencecrops (maize, sorghum, cowpeas, groundnuts,

cassava and green grams)

Coastal lowlands CL6 zone (ranchingzone) 32 Very little crop production potential. Majority offarmers concentrate on keeping of local cattle and

goats as their main source of livelihood

Table : Agro-Ecological Zones and their agricultural potential


Main crop production

The average farm size is 4.8 ha, with little disparity when disaggregated by head of household (men 4.9ha, women 5.2 ha; and youth 4 ha) (GoK, 2014). The total area under food crops is 27,606 ha and consists of maize, cassava, beans, cowpea; green gram spread across the County. Cowpea, cassava and green gram is prominent in the hot and dry coastal hinterland, and in the semi-arid areas of Kinango. Cash crops include cashew nut (all over the County), sugarcane (mostly in Lunga-Lunga sub- County and Ramisi), cotton (held on trial in Msambweni) and Bixa (in Lunga-Lunga, Msambweni, Matuga)) and are spread on 44,868 ha of agricultural land. Semi-commercial crops, such as coconuts and

mangoes are found throughout the entire County, particularly in Msambweni and Matuga sub counties. The County has implemented mechanization services program over the past five years which saw 300 farms cultivated every season using County tractors in each of the 20 wards, provision of certified farm inputs and micro irrigation projects. As a result, farm productivity for maize, cowpeas and green grams increased to 268,965, 23,900 and 30,950 tonnes respectively. The current acreage on maize, cowpeas and green gram production stands at 20868, 3403 and 1595 hectares respectively.

Main storage facilities

The storage facilities in the county are traditional granaries for on-farm produce and NCPB stores at Kwale town for off-farm. Additionally, the county has three cereal banks used for storage of surplus cereals from farmers.

Main livestock breeds


Livestock production is the main economic activity in the drier parts of the county that receives rainfall of below 700mm. This region covers about two thirds of the county. Kwale County has an estimated 190,988 zebu cattle, 5,475 dairy cross, 3,371,126 goats, 54,578 sheep and 725,000 poultry. These are the main livestock species in the county which are distributed across the two livelihood zones (CL 5 and 6). Livestock is kept for both food and income generation and contributes around 25 percent of the county income. Under this sub-sector, the County implemented livestock breed programmes for dairy, beef cattle and goats for distribution to livestock farmers.

Number of ranches

There are 20 ranches in the county. Out of these five are company ranches and eight group ranches most of which are in Kinango Sub-county.

Main Fishing Activities, Types of Fish Produced and Landing Sites

Kwale has abundant fisheries reserves along the coastline. Major fish reserves include: Shimoni, Vanga, Msambweni, Diani, and Tiwi. There are 20 beach management units (BMUs) and 54 landing sites. The main types of fish include Rabbit Fish, scavengers, snappers, parrot fish, octopus, squids and variety of

ornamental fish. In addition, there are 338 fish ponds in the county. To promote the fishing industry, County government procured assorted fishing accessories which included 12 fishing boats and nets, which have been distributed to Beach Management Units (BMUs) in Waa Ng’ombeni, Bongwe-Gombato, Kinondo, Ramisi, Pongwe-Kikoneni and Vanga wards. However, due to group dynamics, the management of these fishing boats by BMUs has not been satisfactory. As a

result, the County Government has emphasized on strengthening the capacity of Beach Management Units (BMUs).

Bee keeping (apiculture)


Bee keeping (apiculture) is a livestock subsector with a huge untapped potential to contribute to improving nutrition and income to rural households. It is a relatively cheap to venture and has a lot of benefits to the environment. Both modern and traditional beekeeping methods are being practiced throughout the county. The county government donated 100 modern beehives and 100 beekeeping kits to farmers with an aim of encouraging modern beekeeping technologies and increase honey production.

Agricultural training and extension services

The County has one Agricultural Training Centre, which is situated in Mkongani ward in Matuga Sub County. The institution is a hub for disseminating modern agricultural technologies. The County Government also has an Agricultural Mechanization Services centre in Msambweni Sub County which offers extension and mechanization services.

KILIFI003 Crop, Livestock, Fish Production and Value addition 

This section provides information of the main types, illustrating the main foods and horticultural crops which are grown in the county. The average farm size and average acreage under food and cash crops, crop as well as their contribution to the economic development of the county is also shown. The main type of livestock kept, and their economic value to the county’s economic development is illustrated.

Main Crops Produced

More than half of the land in the county is arable. Major crops that are grown for subsistence purposes include maize, cassava, green grams, cow peas, rice and bananas.

Major Food Crops in Kilifi County

Food Crops Area Ha Annual production (MT) Value (Kshs)
Maize 94,109 37,586 1,315,510,000
Cassava 3,781 35,399 176,995,000
Cow peas 8,880 2,240 156,800,000
Green grams 6,109 1,431 114,480,000
Total 112,879 76,656 1,763,785,000

Horticultural crops play a vital role in terms of improving the socio-economic welfare of the communities in the County.Cashewnut, coconut and mangoes are the major horticultural crops grown in the county. Other horticultural crops grown are the pineapples, lemons, passion fruits, lime, pawpaw, water melons and vegetables. All these play a critical role in increasing income at the household level hence contributing to poverty alleviation.

Horticultural crops

Crop Farm land area in Ha Yields(MT) Income in Kes
Cashewnut 13,775 16,750 362,792,770
Coconut 35,494 40,510 899,093,958
Mangoes 9,699 150,300 1,135,834,320
Total 58,968 207,560 2,397,721,048

Horticultural Crops (Fruits)

Type of crop Botanical name Areas in Ha Quantity(Ton) Income in Kshs
Banana Musa sp 2100 20,200.00 70,808,400
Oranges Citrus sinensis 1062.5 12,304.60 150,704,296
Tangerines Citrus tangerina 367.5 4,569.50 60,935,300
Lemons Citrus limon 231.60 2,889.40 33,488,400
Lime Citrus latifolia 346.50 3,001.00 20,206,032
Passion Fruits Passifloraedulis 286.30 4,332.40 10,602,700
Pineapples Ananascomosus 1,245.00 3,218.00 3,418,500
Pawpaw Carica papaya 1,051.50 10,660.50 73,771,495
Water Melons Citrulluslanatus /cucumismelo 120.70 2,184.00 113,060,900
Guavas Psidiumguajava 13 72.00 720,000
Apples Malusdomestica 17.5 246.00 7,785
Pears Pyruspyreae 4.8 86.40 2,592
Total 6,846.9 63,763.8 537,726,400

Acreage Under Food and Cash Crops

The county has abundant arable land which is estimated at 6,891.2km2 with the non-arable land constituting of 5,407 km2. This implies that over 56% of the land in the county is suitable for agricultural practices while the remaining 44% can be transformed for agricultural purposes by investing in irrigation related technologies. Ironically it’s only a total area of 112,879 Ha of land is under food crops while that under horticultural including fruits and vegetables is 73041.7 Ha in the county. In this regard, it’s important to increase the total land areas under crop production in a bid to secure food security and also support agribusiness development for economic prosperity in the county in tandem with the aspirations of SDGs 1 and 2 seeking to eradicate poverty in all its dimensions and hunger. This calls for deliberate efforts to promote innovation Public Private Partnerships (PPP) in a bid to support heavy investment in poverty reduction and food security through re-engineering agriculture.

Average Farm Sizes

The average Land size per HH for most small holder farmers is 3.6 acres and 8.09 ha for large scale farms in the county. The total number of farm families is 199,674 of which 80,960 are male and the remaining 118,714 are female. The small farm size for the majority of the small holder farmers has been a limiting factor on the amount of farm produce though employment of agricultural inputs such

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