In Context: Kenya

By Falguni Vyas

July 10, 2012

Population: 43 million 

Native greeting: Jambo (Hello)

Capital: Nairobi

Official language: English, Kiswahili

Local currency: Kenyan shilling


The Republic of Kenya is an East African nation that lies on the equator and is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south east, Tanzania to the south, Uganda to the west, South Sudan to the north west, Ethiopia to the north and Somalia to the north east. Kenya's climate ranges from tropical to arid.


About 24 percent of the GDP is attributed to agriculture. But, due to inefficient farming practices and lack of access to markets, food security remains a major developmental issue. A little more than half of the population live below the poverty line and much of the population is dependent on food aid.

Heifer in Kenya


Livestock placed: Dairy cows, dairy goats, meat goats, camels, poultry and oxen

Technologies used: Plows, zero grazing for dairy cows and goats and free range grazing for other livestock

Issues addressed: Enterprise development, strengthening farming institutions, new farming terchniques and linking to private sector

Heifer International Kenya was established in in 1981.  Heifer Kenya focuses on regions with low per capita income, high child mortality due to malnutrition and potential for dairy farming.  These regions are mainly Nyanza, Western and Coast Provinces.

In collaborates with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, Heifer provides training and livestock to farmers.  Heifer Kenya also works with other NGO’s to provide  leadership, record keeping and group management training to self help groups.

Heifer Kenya is a part of the East Africa Dairy Development project, which was initiated in  in 2008 as a four-year, $42.8 million project funded by the Gates Foundation to help 179,000 smallholder dairy farmer families to double their household income, create, connect and expand dairy market infrastructure and sustainably increase dairy productivity and efficiency.