Kenya Horticulture Development Program

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The Kenya Horticulture Development Program (KHDP) was a program of the U.S. Agency for International Development in Kenya initially schedule to run from 2003 to 2009.[1] At the end of that time, it was extended for another year, to March 2010.[2] Then it was succeeded by the Kenya Horticulture Competitiveness Program (2010-2015). Both projects were implemented by Fintrac Inc. The geographic focus of KHDP included areas around the cities of Kisumu, Eldoret, Nanyuki/Thika, and Mombasa, where Fintrac stationed its field managers and around the Fintrac headquarters in Nairobi.

"The project targets six product categories in its current work plan: Passion Fruit (fresh and processed), chili products (fresh, processed and dried), vanilla and spices, smallholder flowers, tree crops for processing (cashew and mango) and local market vegetables (onions, carrots, cabbage, tomato and indigenous vegetables). The program provides support to the fresh and processed food sector encompassing three main strategic areas: EUREPGAP/SPS, New Product Development and Domestic Market Intervention. Crosscutting activities such as marketing services, policy interventions, environmental management and promotion of gender equality are also targeted.
"The training and certification process for EUREPGAP began in May 2004. HDC continues to work through partner fund agreements with exporters such as Indu Farms, East African Growers, VegPro and Greenlands to help them attain EUREPGAP certification. Agreements have been established with major exporters who currently obtain products from outgrowers for export. The project also has identified smallholder groups that have been provided with safe use training and agreements also have been signed with service providers including Real IPM, Millennium and Global Crop Protection.
"Even though the deadline for attaining EUREPGAP certification was Jan. 1, 2005, allowances have been made to accommodate smallholder farmers and individual buyers can choose to do business with non-EUREPGAP productions. Nevertheless, all producers who wish to continue exporting to European retailers must make some move toward EUREPGAP compliance in the immediate future.
"In addition to EUREPGAP, all growers are faced with new European Union (EU) legislation on chemical traceability and Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs). Although this does not require auditing or overall changes in farm practices, it does require that all growers know and conform to specified lists of crop/chemical applications and Pre-harvest Intervals (PHIs) approved by the EU.
"The New Product Development Program helps the Kenyan horticultural industry diversify product range. Currently, there is little diversification of products and exports have tended to be in relatively few crop areas. Traditionally, these are cut roses, French beans, peas and avocadoes. The country has unlimited potential for developing new products that are competitive on the world market. To achieve this, thirty demonstration plots are being established for several products. New crops continuously targeted include vanilla, paprika, African "bird's eye chili", papaya, hybrid "jumbo" passion fruit, mangoes (for processing), and the extraction of essential oils.
"The Domestic Market Intervention Program addresses growth in domestic demand for fresh and processed products. In particular, the smallholders flower program, and local market vegetables benefit from this intervention. The target set for this year is the establishment of at least 50 demonstration plots for vegetables including onion, garlic, sukuma wiki (kale), cabbages, potatoes, bananas and tomatoes. The goal of the local market vegetable program is to increase production and improve reliability of supply and quality. In addition, a number of flower varieties including Ornithogalum sps , Eryngium, Moby Dick (Aesclepia sp ), Carthamus, Mollucella, Amy Majus, Calla lilies, Tuberose and Agapanthus are suitable for smallholders and have been selected. Also, new varieties are being developed. A smallholder partnership agreement has been signed to allow project beneficiaries to access supplies needed to increase productivity. Through these interventions, income from domestic sales should increase by at least $4 million.
"In addition, the project is implementing the Business Development Services (BDS) component by forming alliances with local BDS providers. This allows Fintrac to provide additional extension services and improve support, as well as ongoing price analysis and market information. Working with U.S. agencies that affect policy, educating smallholders and partners about good agricultural practices, and environmental management are other key crosscutting activities. The project is also focusing on meeting targets for women's participation to improve gender equality."[3]


Between September 19, 2003 and April 30, 2009, the project spent a total of $10,211,364. The project had 58,000 "direct beneficiaries" (farmers who received support from KHDP). Here is how the program was evaluated against USAID's goals at the end of the initial project period (2009):

  • Increased Productivity of Selected Products: "Average yields of target crops tripled since the start of the program and are 37 percent over the 2009 target figure."
  • Adoption of Technology: "An estimated 54,520 or 94 percent of KHDP beneficiaries adopted one or more new technologies since receiving training (new crops, hybrid seeds, drip irrigation, greenhouse production, shade netting and others)."
  • Increased Trade in Domestic and Export Markets: Total of export and domestic trade volume was targeted to reach 7 million tons by September 2009. Based on actual figures for the September 2008 to March 2009 period, the projection for 2009 is 8.2 million tons, equivalent to 17 percent over target. Trade value was targeted to reach Ksh180 billion for 2009 and is projected at 234 billion or 30 percent over target for the year. Domestic trade is set to exceed the annual targets significantly for both value and volume. Export volumes should achieve target but trade value is projected to be 2.25 percent below target for the reasons described in the main report."
  • Improved Performance of Agricultural Marketing Systems: "More than 100 KHDP monthly Horticulture Updates and Market News were produced during the life of the Program. FPEAK, MOA, HCDA and other partners produced price and market information reports. The National Taskforce produced numerous reports. All received KHDP technical support."
  • Services for Agricultural Trade Improved: An estimated 80,000 stakeholders now receive improved market information through the national media and industry publications supported by KHDP compared with the 2009 target of 50,000."
  • Increased Access to Business Support Services for Micro and Small Enterprises: "An estimated 58,000 growers received customized services from KHDP’s lead partners compared with the 2009 target of 50,000."
  • Non-financial Services Delivered Cost-effectively: "KHDP worked with a total of 86 partners providing business development services compared with an EOP target of 64."
  • Increased Effectiveness of Smallholder Organizations to Provide Business Services to their members: "KHDP provided assistance to 1,190 smallholder groups. Their average Organizational Capacity Assessment Tool (OCAT) score in 2003-04 was 29.6%. The EOP target for improved institutional capacity was an OCAT score of 65%. A sample survey of groups carried out in 2009 showed that groups had increased their score to 76.7%, equivalent to a 159% increase over baseline and 18% over target."[1]

Domestic Market

"On average, KHDP-assisted growers in all areas (apart from the coast) generated more than 70 percent of their income from growing vegetables for the local market. High levels of adoption of hybrid seed and improved agronomic practices raised yields three-fold for tomato and four-fold for cabbage (Annex 3). At least 94 percent of the 58,000 beneficiaries adopted one or more new technologies. Demonstrations of low-cost greenhouse production which started in 2007 attracted massive interest; hundreds of growers are now producing hybrid tomatoes in greenhouses for the local market."[1]


Partners included:[1]

Public Sector:

  • Ministry of Agriculture
  • Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI)
  • Horticultural Crops Development Authority (HCDA)
  • Coast Development Authority (CDA)
  • Nairobi University
  • Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology
  • Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (KEPHIS)
  • Moi University

Trade Associations:

  • Kenya Flower Council
  • Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya

Fresh Produce and Flowers:

  • East African Growers
  • Indu-Farm
  • Kenya Horticultural Exporters
  • Woni
  • Myner Exporters
  • PJ Flowers
  • K-Net
  • Pemiculture Afrique
  • Simeth Investments
  • Zedgee
  • Nature Grown Flowers
  • Vegpro
  • Sunripe
  • Uchumi Supermarket
  • Agrifresh


  • Essential Seeds and Juices
  • Juicee-Juice It Up
  • Kevian Kenya
  • Milly Fruit Processors
  • Kasarani Fresh
  • HR Retief
  • Premier Foods
  • Mace Foods
  • Equator Products
  • Raja Products
  • Earth Oil
  • Lubanchem
  • Kenya Nut
  • Natures Own
  • Jungle Macadamia
  • Rosavie
  • Frigoken
  • Malindi Vanilla

Input Suppliers:

Technical Consultancies:

  • Market Economies Development
  • Millennium Management Consultants
  • Real IPM
  • Africert
  • Farm Produce Technologies
  • KenGap
  • Blue Rhino

Financial Service Providers:

  • K-Rep Bank
  • Equity Bank

Local NGOs:

  • Farm Concern
  • Youth Action for Rural development
  • Rural Service Program
  • Animal Draft Power Program
  • One Acre fund
  • Catholic Diocese Eldoret
  • Good Neighbours CBO
  • Christian Women Partners
  • SCC-VI Agroforestry
  • Samburu Integrated Development Program
  • Imenti CBO
  • Family Preservation Initiative
  • Mount Kenya Organic farming

International Agencies:

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