Kenya Horticulture Competitiveness Project

U.S. Presidential Initiative:
Feed the Future

Funding Level:
$32.5 million

May 2010 – February 2015

Activity Goals:

  • 200,000 farmers with increased food security and incomes
  • 20,000 hectares of land under improved technologies or management practices
  • 140,000 rural households benefitting from United States Government intervention

Activity Accomplishments:

  • 147,964 smallholder farmers assisted to adopt good agricultural practices that increase their yields and incomes
  • 25,000 hectares of land under new agricultural technologies
  • 20,000 households in semi-arid regions now grow their own vegetables using water harvesting technology

Key Partners:
Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services, Agriculture Sector Coordination Unit, Pest Control Products Board, Horticultural Crops Development Authority, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute

More than 40 public and private sector organizations, coordinated through the Government of Kenya

Activity Locations:
21 counties within the high rainfall and semi-arid target zones of Kenya. Target production counties include Bomet, Trans Nzoia, Elgeyo-Marakwet, Uasin Gishu, Nandi, Kericho, Bungoma, Busia, Kakamega, Vihiga, Siaya, Homabay, Kisumu, Nyamira, Kisii and Migori in the western region, and Meru, Tharaka, Machakos, Makueni, and Kitui.


The Kenya Horticulture Competitiveness Project is improving food security and nutrition and raising incomes for over 200,000 smallholder farmers. The project is helping farmers to grow more and better quality fruits, vegetables, and flowers, with a special focus on strengthening the value chains related to eight crops: sweet potato, Irish potato, passion fruit, mango, banana, tomato, cabbage, peas and beans. The Kenya Horticulture Competitiveness Project is also expanding the processing of horticultural produce, linking small-scale farmers with local and export markets, and improving the overall agricultural policy environment.


Enhance farm productivity by providing training in crop production skills, innovative technologies, and farm business management.

Increase processing and value addition by educating farmers and food manufacturers to improve postharvest handling, grading, processing, packaging, branding, and risk mitigation.

Advance marketing and trade through linking smallholders to local and export markets and providing technical assistance in standards certification and compliance.

Develop the business and policy environment by stronger linkages among growers, processors, exporters, policy makers, and other stakeholders, to make the Kenyan horticulture industry more competitive.

Improve family nutrition by integrating basic food safety and hygiene alongside training in food preparation and a diversified diet into every rural household impacted under the project.

Empower women and youth by creating more income generating opportunities and jobs along the value chain and improving access to resources and decision making equality.


The Kenya Horticulture Competitiveness Project has partnered with Vegpro (K) Ltd, a major exporter of vegetables, fruits, and flowers to Europe. Through this partnership, Vegpro is rolling out greenhouse tunnels and drip irrigation trials in pea production for 600 contracted outgrowers around the Mt. Kenya region. The tunnels, which minimize the usage of agrochemicals and increase the crop life cycle, have shown average yield increase of 48 percent compared to open field production. What’s more, 98 percent of the crop grown under the 0.98 hectare tunnel was marketable, compared to only 15 percent of the crop grown in open fields due to damage from hailstorms and disease infection. Each tunnel generated an average gross income of Ksh 30,745 ($384) compared to only Ksh 3,188 ($40) from the open field. To accelerate the adoption of the tunnel technology, USAID Kenya Horticulture Competitiveness Project is working closely with the USAID Financial Inclusion for Rural Microenterprises project to map the best options for finance packages suited to farmer’s cash flow.

Through these public-private partnerships, the Kenya Horticulture Competitiveness Project is increasing smallholders’ ability to compete in the global marketplace while helping the Kenyan vegetable export industry get back on track during the second half of the year.

USAID Contact:
Julius Kilungo, Activity Manager
Agriculture, Business and Environment Office
Tel: +254 208 622 000

Kenya Horticulture Competitiveness Project Contact:
Ian Chesterman, Chief of Party
Tel: +254 732 761 764


Updated April 2014

Last updated: May 28, 2014

Share This Page