How Horticulture Farming Could Reduce Poverty in Kenya

The horticulture industry is one of the fastest-growing agricultural sub-sector in Kenya. It is also one of the top foreign Exchange earners in the country. Horticulture contributes up to about 2% of the annual GDP. About 80% of farmers used in the sub-sector are small-scale farmers. This is mainly to help reduce poverty. We are therefore presenting to you, how horticulture farming could reduce poverty in Kenya.

The main horticultural crops grown in Kenya are flowers, fruits, and vegetables. Farmers who largely contribute to horticulture farming in Kenya are mostly women. Although horticulture is a major contributor to the economy, farmers are not paid adequately in the industry. This is sad news because this industry dominated by exporters and retailers.

It is a nightmare for farmers who work so hard to make ends meet. They do not benefit fully from their labor and produce because other groups have completely dominated the market.

The following points illustrate how horticulture farming could reduce poverty in Kenya;

Generation of additional labor-intensive job opportunities for rural people

The creation of more jobs means more income for farmers. 70% of Kenya’s total population dwell in rural areas and agriculture is their main source of livelihood. It is in rural areas where labor is abundant. Horticulture can help reduce poverty by providing jobs and income for laborers.

Horticulture provides real opportunities for reducing poverty. Cultivation of horticultural crops requires intensive labor as compared to the cultivation of other cereal crops. It is usually 2-4 times the labor required in other staple crops.

Commercialization of the rural economy

They integrate horticultural products in rural areas into the market which contributes to the commercialization of the rural economy. This provides an opportunity for increased trade and marketing for rural horticultural products.

Commercialization of the rural economy stimulates growth and development in rural areas. This is because it creates employment and increases productivity.

Boosting the national economy

Horticulture can boost the economy. The public and the private sectors should focus on flowers and vegetable seed development. This can create more employment opportunities and reduce production costs. It helps minimize production costs because it lowers the cost of seeds.

Earning foreign exchange

Apart from employment creation, horticulture provides an opportunity to earn foreign exchange. They export surplus horticultural products to other countries for trade. Horticultural products are on high demand both at the domestic level and international level.

Fruit and vegetable production is highly profitable and can affect fair growth in the country.


There is a need to establish trade unions in this sub-sector to fight for the rights of farmers. This is because this industry is dominated by processors, retailers, and exporters who have completely overpowered farmers.

That farmers are powerless in this industry to have led to misappropriation of funds sometimes meant for the laborers. Therefore, farmers are not benefiting much from horticulture farming. To alleviate poverty in Kenya, corruption has to be fought first.

The government should establish Institutions that provide farmers with timely information on market price. There is a need to establish Money lending institutions to help farmers increase capital.



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