Livestock population in Kenya

Dairy Cattle. Photo by Kilimo News

Kenya has a vibrant livestock sector that accounts for about 4.4 percent of the country’s GDP (USD 3.4 billion, in 2017) or about 14.2 percent of the agricultural value added. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the sector employs 50 percent of the agricultural labour force and generates a significant number of jobs along the value chain. About 60 percent of the livestock population is found in the arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) where 90 percent of the population raise animals both for meat and milk production. In the high rainfall areas, the sector provides employment and income mainly through dairy, poultry and pig production.

Notably, Kenya has substantial animal resources that indisputably contribute significantly to its economy and the wealth, livelihoods as well as food and nutritional security of livestock keepers. The country’s animal population comprises 18.8 million cattle (14.3 million beef cattle and 4.5 million cows), 26.7 million goats, 18.9 million sheep, 3.2 million camels, 44.6 million poultry, 1.9 million donkeys, 0.5 million pigs and an undetermined number of companion, game and aquatic animals.

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