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Animal and Fisheries Profile in Kenya

Animal and Fisheries Profile in Kenya

Animals and fisheries play a great role in Kenya’s economy. The livestock contribution to agricultural GDP is only slightly less than that from arable agriculture. The livestock sector contributes about 12% of Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 40% to the agricultural GDP and employs 50% of agricultural labor force. Fishing contributes 0.5 % to the country’s GDP. The key livestock subsectors are beef and dairy cattle, sheep, goats, camels, pigs and poultry.

Livestock Products

Dairy Cattle
Dairy cattle are estimated at 3.5 million heads. The common dairy breeds are Ayrshire, Friesian, Guernsey, Jersey and cross-breeds.

Beef cattle  
Beef cattle are estimated at 9 million. The main beef species are East African Zebu, Boran, Sahiwal and cross-breeds. The country produces about 320,000 tonnes of beef worth 730 Million USD annually.

Sheep and goats
Sheep and goats’ population is estimated at 27.7 million goats and 17.1 million sheep. Annual mutton and chevon production is estimated at 84 000 tonnes valued at about 165 Million USD.

Chicken population is estimated 32 million chickens, approx. 80 percent of which are indigenous while 20 percent are commercial layers and broilers. Other poultry types such as turkey, duck, pigeon, ostrich, guinea fowl and quail are becoming increasingly important. Annually, the country produces about 20 tonnes of poultry meat worth 40 Million USD and 1.3 billion eggs worth 115 Million USD.

Pig rearing is now relatively well-established in Kenya. It is estimated that the country produces 12,000 tonnes of pork worth 14 Million USD annually.

Camel keeping is mainly practiced in northern Kenya. The country is home to a camel population of 2.9 million which produce 7 000 tonnes of meat worth 12 Million USD and 200 million liters of milk worth 24 Million USD annually.

Major fisheries in Kenya are trans-boundary. Capture fisheries in Kenya are divided into inland fisheries and marine and coastal fisheries. There are mainly three types of fish and fish products consumed by majority of Kenyans namely tilapia, Nile perch and dagaa. Capture fisheries accounts for 99% of the total fish production in Kenya.


  • Declining fish stocks in the natural water bodies
  • Conflict between various users of fisheries resources
  • Fish quality and post harvest issues.
  • Low funding levels for the fisheries sub sector
  • Low stakeholders participation
  • Delivery of feed for chicken in remote areas is very difficult
  • Difficult delivery of poultry products from remote areas by small scale farmers to customers in the towns
  • Uncertain weather patterns affect pastures for livestock