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Kenya Land & Water Resources

Kenya’s total area is about 587,000 km2, of which 576,076 km2 is land and 11,230 km2 is covered by water, of this 16% is of high to medium potential.

Kenya’s total area is about 587,000 km2, of which 576,076 km2 is land and 11,230 km2 is covered by water. Of the total land area, 16% is of high to medium potential. The rest is arid and semi-arid land (ASAL) and, therefore, of low agricultural potential. Out of the ASAL’s 48 million ha, 24 million ha is only useful for nomadic pastoralism, the rest can support some commercial ranching and irrigated agriculture but with added technological input.

Over 5 million people live in and derive their livelihoods in ASAL areas, the rest of the population is in the 16% high to medium land area. In a country where 80% of the population depends on agriculture, the high and medium potential areas have been reduced to small scale farms of up to 0.5 – 10 ha. As a matter of fact, 81% of small-scale farmers occupy holdings of less than 2 ha. Considering that the population growth rate is 3.2%, the pressure on land is continuously reducing the capacity to sustain food production and cash crop farming.

 

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