Agriculture overview

Agriculture is the leading sector in the Kenyan economy, accounting for about 25% of the gross domestic product (GDP), 60% of total export earnings from horticulture, floriculture, tea and coffee.

Kenya produces the highest quality coffee beans in the world. Kenya also produces the best quality tea, horticultural crops, nuts, (cashew nuts and macadamia), pyrethrum, wheat, barley, tropical fruits (mangoes, papaya, pineapples, passion, bananas, coconuts, oranges, lemons, tangerines, guavas) and oil crops. Additionally, the country produces high quality range beef, hides and skins/ leather, dairy products and fisheries.

On food safety, Kenya has in place rigorous rules and regulations that guarantee quality and safety in line with international standards.  The Kenya Bureau of Standards, a member of the International Organization of Standards ensures compliance. Kindly visit their site

For more information on agriculture in Kenya, please visit the following agriculture based websites in Kenya.

  1. Coffee Directorate
  2. Tea Directorate
  3. Kenya Flower Council
  4. Pyrethrum Board of Kenya
  5. New Kenya Cooperative Creameries
  6. Kenya Nut Company (Cashew nuts and Macadamia nuts)
  7. Kenya Meat Commission
  8. Kenya Sugar Board


Kenya is among the top five largest producers and exporters of tea in the world. It is also the largest exporter of black tea globally.

Kenya hosts the Mombasa Tea Auction Centre which is one of the largest Tea Auction Centres in the World.

Mombasa Tea Auction is the only auction centre where teas from different countries are sold alongside each other. This helps to establish price levels and differentials for teas all over the world. Countries that sell their teas at the auction centre include; Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Madagascar, Zambia and Zimbabwe.


The Government bodies that oversee the sub-sector are the Tea Directorate of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Authority, and the Kenya Tea Development Agency Limited (KTDA). They can be reached electronically on and for more information on production, processing and marketing of the product as well as possibilities of investment in value addition. These websites will also give you direct contacts and websites of specific tea factories in Kenya.


Horticulture (flowers, fruits and vegetables) is the second biggest foreign exchange earner after tea. Serviced by Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, with so many daily European bound flights in addition to good climate, horticulture and floriculture together have made the industry thrive. The success is attributed to investors in Kenya meeting the EU standards for safety and quality as well as organizational logistics.

Large and small scale growers have partnered to form the Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK) to develop, unite and promote the Kenya horticulture industry in the global market with due regard to safety, good agricultural practices, social, ethical and environmental responsibilities. For more information on FPEAK and Kenyan horticultural exports, please visit their webpage to see some of the most important flower and other horticulture product exporters in Kenya.

Further, the Kenya Flower Council (KFC) works closely with Kenyan floriculture organizations to provide the key mark of quality that is acceptable internationally. The Council’s code of practice is equally recognized just like the Global Flower Label Program. KFC has a membership of 72 flower farms which represents about 70% of the flowers exported from Kenya. This website will expose you in more detail the members of the flower council (The members, their websites and contacts).


Coffee is the second largest commodity export for Kenya. The sector employs about 1.5 million people in the rural as well as those in the processing factories and packaging, transport, auction houses, retail outlets and marketing.

Nearly 98% of coffee produced in Kenya is exported mostly to the European Union, U.S., the Middle East, Canada and South Korea.

Opportunities exist in provision of services such as improved crop husbandry and proper pulping, drying, roasting, storage, milling and grading all targeting to improve on high quality.  Other opportunities include, value addition and aggressive marketing, investment in growing of the Arabica coffee and manufacturing of coal from coffee husks.

The Coffee Directorate of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Authority oversees the activities in the sub-sector in the interest of the farmers as well as investors. The Directorate also markets coffee, markets and protects the product from unscrupulous trading.


The beef industry

Plenty of opportunities exist in this industry including beef cutting, slaughtering and production and marketing of meat and by-products; harvesting and processing of leather to meet the high domestic demand as well as external market (the EU and middle East); rearing of animals for production of game meat; poultry farming; provision of affordable technologies and equipment for small-scale processing and provision of credit to the sub-sector.


For more information visit and Kenya livestock Marketing Council (KLMC) 

The dairy industry

Kenya exports dairy products to the East and Central Africa, European Union and Middle East. Kenya has developed standards for all dairy products produced within the EAC and COMESA regions. In addition, and most important is that Kenya is among the developing countries from which the EU member states are authorized to import milk and milk based products.

The Kenya Dairy Board regulates activities in the industry and presents a one stop point for investors eyeing the dairy industry.

Leather,hide and skins


The leather industry in Kenya is mainly dependent on the large livestock resource base of Cattle, Goats, Sheep and Camel. The industry also derives its raw materials from emerging livestock such as fish (Nile perch), farm Ostriches and farm Crocodiles.

The sector’s contribution to Kenya’s economy currently stands at Kshs.10.6 billion and creates employment to over 22,540 people directly and indirectly.

Hides and skins subsector

The hides and skins trade has gone through phases; witnessing positive impact on the sector. The sector transformed from a purely raw material source to relatively modern industry adopting the changing technology and market trends. The transformation saw the country act as a tanning hub for the region through procurement of hides and skins and supply of leather in both local and regional markets. In addition, it experienced exports of semi- processed leather (wet-blue) to the international markets.

Tanning subsector

Currently, tanneries in Kenya have installed capacities standing at 60% for wet-blue, crust leather at 25% and finished leather taking 15%.

Leather goods and footwear subsectors

The leather goods and footwear subsectors in Kenya have exhibited a lot of potential for growth with an increase of leather goods units to 85. There are 25 enterprises engaged in formal footwear and leather goods manufacturing. This has a utilization capacity of more than 70%. Apart from the formal sector, there are hundreds of informal footwear manufacturing units/ Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which undertook manufacturing of 55-60 percent of the local footwear production.

Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Mr. Adan Mohamed (2nd right) sampling some of the Kenyan leather products



  1. Exports

To be able to trade externally, one requires a minimum of Kshs 5 million. The Department of Veterinary Services provides technical advice to exporters to help them succeed in export of hides, skins and leather.

  1. Raw hides and Skins

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) on behalf of the Government levies 80% tax of the Free on Board (FOB) value. On the other hand, the Department of Veterinary Services levies 2% of the FOB to fund the Veterinary Services Development Fund (VSDF).

  1. Wet blue leather

The Veterinary Department levies 1% of the FOB value; KRA does not charge any levy thus encouraging value addition.

  1. Crust leather

0.5% of FOB value is charged by the Veterinary Department which goes to VSDF. KRA does not charge any levy.

  1. Finished leather

No levies are charged by both KRA and the Department of Veterinary Services.

Note: Taxes and levies by KRA and the Department of Veterinary Services are paid prior to export of goods.


Special Economic Zones (SEZs)

The Government plans to roll out Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to boost Kenya’s investment profile. This will replace the current Export Processing Zones (EPZ) and is marked to improve foreign Direct Investments into the country.

The focus of the new policy on SEZs is that goods be produced closer to raw material sources and investors handed preferential terms on matters such as licensing.

President Uhuru Kenyatta in September signed the Special Economic Zones Act 2015, which spells out key measures to revamp activities in the blocs.

The special economic zones law provides incentives for industries to operate in designated zones.

The Act provides for numerous tax incentives for investors, including exemption from all existing taxes and duties payable under the Customs and Excise Act, Income Tax Act, East African Community Customs Management Act and Value Added Tax Act on all special economic zone transactions.

Enterprises at the SEZs will enjoy several tax incentives under a tightly monitored set-up to avoid losses of government revenue. The preferential tax terms will include value added tax (VAT) exemption on all supplies of goods and services to enterprises, reduction in corporate tax to 10 per cent from 30 per cent for a period of 10 years of operation and 15 per cent for the next 10 years.

The government plans to freeze new investments within its Export Processing Zones (EPZ) as it takes up the SEZs model.

The SEZs are currently undergoing a pilot program in Mombasa, Lamu and Kisumu.

Quality Assurance

All producers in the leather sector are required to comply with the standards set by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and other relevant International Standards bodies in production of quality leather and leather goods.

Environmental legislation

Manufacturers and business people in the leather sector must comply with the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) legislation.

For more Information Contact:

The Secretary/CEO

Kenya Leather Development Council

Tel: +254 (020) 4442321

P.O Box 14480-00800

Riverside Drive- Nairobi.



No. Company Product Range Contact Details
1. Adelphi – The Leather Shop Diverse range of quality leather items including: 

Bags, Hand bags, folders, wallets,briefcases, accessories as well as Corporate Gift Items.

Tel:- +254 (20) 236 9694 


Outlets: – Yaya and Sarit Centre, Nairobi.

2. Sanabora Design House Limited Quality and contemporary leather items with an African touch including:- 

Clutch Bags, Cross body bags, hand bags, wallets, purses, travel bags, gifts/corporate items.

Murang’a Road, Opposite K.I.E, Aqua Plaza, 3rd Floor, Nairobi. 

Tel: +254 20 232 1853,

Mobile: +254 715 774 579




3. Habib Leather Industry Producers of High Quality Leather Products including:- 

Corporate Gift Items, Sports Items and Items for the Catering and Hotel Industry

Cell Phone: 0725 103 705

Cell Phone: 0725 760 681

4. Gonzala Leathers Producers of a wide array of quality leather products. Email: 
5. Rift Valley Leather Range of production include:- 

Travel bags and holdalls (briefcases), Satchels, wallets and purses, belts as well as handbags and bespoke items in exotic leather.

Tembo Road, Karen – Nairobi. 

Contact:- +254 (0) 721 922


6. Zeeban Designs Producers of Quality Leather Accessories including:- 

Hand bags, wallets and purses.

Outlet: Yaya Centre, Nairobi. 

Cell Phone: +254 734 446 316/

+254 723 425 098


7. Annabelle Thom Assorted leather goods The Junction shopping Mall, Dagoretti Corner, Nairobi 

Tel: +254 (020) 3864 665


8. African Lily Leather accessories Ngong Road 

P.O Box 26015 – 00100, Nairobi

Cell: +254 710 492147/

+254 725 106542


9. Adel de jak Assorted leather goods Cloud 9 Collection 

Mushroom Road off Kiambu Road, Nairobi

Cell: +254 (0)734 399 800

  Escon Leather Company Producer of high quality vegetable tanned leather accessories and interior decor including:- 

Wallets, pouches, purses, clutch bags, handbags, ladies sandals, doormats and poofs.

10. Anchor Footwear Producers of men’s office shoes in a diverse range of tastes and preferences. Contact: 

Outlet:– Kenya Industrial Estates.

11. Kraw Leathers Producer of leather bags, sandals, purses, footwear among other leather accessories Industrial Area 

P.O Box 7637-00300, Nairobi

Cell: +254 722 938 387



                                               TANNERIES OPERATING IN KENYA

No Name of the Tanner Postal Address Emails
1. Bata Shoe Limited 

(Limuru Town)

P O Box 23 – 00217 LIMURU 


2. Alpharama Ltd 

(Off Namanga Road, ATHI RIVER)

P O Box 167 – ATHI RIVER
3. Leather Industries of Kenya 

(Off Garissa Road, THIKA)

P O Box 79 – THIKA
5. New Market Leather Factory 

(Nanyuki Road – NAIROBI)

P O Box 14579 – NAIROBI
6. Aziz Tanneries Ltd 

(Off Kangundo Road, Njiru Market)

P O Box 1363 – NAIROBI
7. Sagana Tanneries Ltd 

(Sagana Town)

P O Box 94 – SAGANA
8. Nakuru Tanneries Ltd 

(Shabab Estate – NAKURU Town)

P O Box 225 – NAKURU
9. Dogbones Ltd 

(Dandora Market, NAIROBI)

P O Box 78010 – 00507 viwandani
10. Nairobi Tanneries Ltd 

(Nanyuki Road, NAIROBI)

11. East Africa Tanneries Ltd 

(Off Kangundo Road, Njiru Market)

P O Box 46227 – NAIROBI
12. Faaso Import and Export 

(Lunga Lunga Road – NAIROBI)

P O Box 78010 – 00507 


13. Athi- River Tanneries 

(Off Mombasa Road – ATHI-RIVER)

P O Box 503 – 00204 ATHI-RIVER
14 Abdulwadood tanners LTD Po Box 41695 Nairobi

15 MAS Trading Company Po Box 71460-00622 Nairobi


Kenya is the world’s largest producer of natural pyrethrum, producing 75% of all trade pyrethrum at any given time. Pyrethrum is used to produce pyrethrin and/ or pyrethrin powder which is the most widely used natural insecticide. Given the global demand for organic insecticide, the sector provides huge opportunities in terms of seed production, plantation farming, and processing of pyrethrin insecticides and pyrethrin pesticides. and


Kenya has developed and incorporated the EU standards for all fish products destined for both domestic and external markets.

The State Department of Fisheries is the Government agency mandated to provide for the exploration, exploitation, utilization, management, development and conservation of fisheries resources, and undertake research in marine and fresh water fisheries.


Edible oils

Kenya imports 95% of its total edible oil requirements. However, many oil-seeds such as sunflower, simsim, soya beans, rapeseed, coconut, castor and groundnuts can be grown and processed locally.

Opportunities in oilseed-processing industry will stimulate supply and meet domestic market demand.

Coconut farm at the Kenyan coast

The Government has put in place incentives in favour of importation of oilseed as raw material as opposed to processed or finished goods. In addition, investors can consider oil crop plantations, oil processing and high quality packaging for export.

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