Agriculture and Food - Kenya

Agriculture and food

The Netherlands is your partner in agriculture and food

The agriculture sector comprises all economic activity relating to food, from production to marketing and distribution.

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Exporting nation

The Netherlands is the second-largest exporter of agricultural products in the world, after the United States. It is known for its flowers, cheese, tomatoes, vegetables and beer.

The Dutch horticulture sector has an extensive logistics network. Vegetables harvested in the Netherlands can be sold in New York the very same day.


The Dutch food sector has developed smart storage and packaging technologies that keep food fresh longer.

The Netherlands wants to reduce the use of antibiotics in food production in order to combat antimicrobial resistance in humans and animals.

The Netherlands shares its expertise in food production with developing countries. It is committed to a free market with safe, sustainably produced food.


Research and innovation are vital to Dutch agriculture and horticulture. Dutch agri-food companies and knowledge institutions do innovative work in many areas, including sustainability and nutrition.

Agri-food: the Netherlands and your country or region

The Food Security portfolio of the Netherlands Embassy in Kenya

The Food Security portfolio of the Netherlands Embassy in Kenya is characterized by a value chain focus (from producer to consumer) and a market led approach. The programs actively engage Dutch Knowledge providers and expertise as well as technology transfer hence contributing to making available safe, nutritious and affordable foods not only for the domestic markets, but also for Dutch markets. The programs have a particular focus on private sector involvement both for technology and on expertise and this corresponds to the Aid to Trade transition agenda of the embassy.

The Embassy works in different focus areas:

  1. Dairy - The Embassy’s dairy project, the Kenya Market-led Dairy Program (KMDP-II) aims at contributing to the development of a competitive, market-driven and private sector-led Kenyan dairy sector, with beneficiaries across the value chain.
  2. Horticulture - The Kenya market-led horticulture project (HortIMPACT) combines private sector expertise with social impact solutions to build sustainable, inclusive domestic and export horticulture markets in Kenya. Potatoes are also considered under horticulture and this project includes special focus on potato production for the markets. This is particularly linked to the work on Dutch seed potato varieties in Kenya.
  3. Aquaculture - The market for fish farming is a relatively new and expanding one in Kenya. The Kenya Market-led Aquaculture Program (KMAP) aims at improving the entire value chain, from fish feed to pond management, marketing and branding of catfish and tilapia.
  4. Research  and Innovation - Wageningen University is via the 3R program conducting (PhD) studies on the three value chains (dairy, horticulture and aquaculture) in order to provide the knowledge agenda to the food security program. It validates good practices and innovations and shares them within innovation platforms and through evidence based policy recommendations. In addition the Embassy’s Telephone Farmers project is a proof of concept innovative initiative that works on using land that is often laying idle because landowners (located in the cities) often are not willing or able to utilize it to the full extent. Via the project the telephone farmers and their farm managers are trained.
  5. Access to finance - One of the biggest challenges of agriculture in Kenya is access to finance for small and medium sized farms. The Embassy works via various access to finance programs, such as the Agriculture Growth Accelerator project, to bridge the gap between farmers and finance.

Besides Embassy programs which account for approximately 25% of the Netherlands’ budget to Kenya, there are also centrally funded programs by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economic Affairs actively improving food security in Kenya. Examples are the Facility for Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Food Security (FDOV), managed by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and the Geodata-4-Agriculture-and-Water program managed by the Netherlands Space Agency.

More information

  • The AKVO page showcases all the Embassy’s development cooperation projects
  • The agricultural department maintains its own website (agroberichten buitenland) with information on all agricultural programs, the latest studies and information on regulations and events.

For more information on this topic, contact the embassy (agriculture) or (food security).