The overall context is the alarming decline in the growth of farm output in Kenya over the last fifteen or more years. As Figure 1 shows, from the late 1980s the growth of agricultural production has stagnated and fallen behind population growth. Production per head of population is now slightly below what it was at Independence in 1964.
The modern Kenyan economy has been built on agriculture, starting with the development oflarge-scale commercial farms owned by white settlers in the first half of the C20. Followingthe Swynnerton Plan of 1954, a drive to develop the smaller holdings operated by Africanfarmers began. For almost thirty years thereafter, before and after Independence in 1964,smallholder development in the higher potential parts of Kenya was successfulto drive agricultural growth ahead of the country’s rapid population expansion. Smallholdersincreased notably their output of coffee, tea, pyrethrum, and cotton for export and producedlarge amounts of maize, beans, sugar, beef, and dairy for the domestic market.File: FAC_Documents-Development_Issues_Kenya-Oct_08.pdf