Kilifi County lies in the coast region of Kenya and is among the counties forming the Jumuia ya Kaunti za Pwani economic bloc. The six sub counties in Kilifi include Kilifi, Ganze, Malindi, Magarini, Rabai and Kaloleni.
Land use patterns within the county indicate availability of a relatively high average acreage per farming household and favorable physical conditions for the production of a variety of food and cash crops.
According to the County Government of Kilifi, natural pastures form almost half of the county farmland while subsistence farming takes up 21%. A paltry 1.5% is under commercial crop production.
Classified as an arid and semi-arid area, over 65% of Kilifi faces seasonal water shortages and residents of those areas opt for rain water harvesting or depend on pans for regular supply of water for domestic and livestock use. The water pans however often dry up during the dry spells.
The county also experiences floods which provide an opportunity for water harvesting and irrigation. More than half of the land in Kilifi County is arable. Main food crops grown include cassava, maize, cow peas, rice and green grams. Fruits such as mangoes and bananas are also grown as are horticultural crops including cashew nuts and coconuts.
These provide opportunities for agribusiness. Other crops that do well within Kilifi include coconut, vegetables and rice. Livestock production also plays a pivotal role in supporting livelihoods in the county with cattle, sheep, goats and poultry being the main livestock kept by subsistence farmers.
Ranching and agriculture also contribute significant amounts of income to the economy of Kilifi. Income to households from honey production, for instance, amounted to over KES 84 million in the five years prior to 2017. Other opportunities for agribusiness exist in fish farming which comprises fresh water aquaculture and mariculture.