Kenya Market-led Horticulture Programme (HortIMPACT)

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The Kenya Market-led Horticulture Project (KMHP or HortIMPACT) combines private sector expertise with social impact solutions to build sustainable, inclusive, climate resilient, horticulture value chains and markets Kenya that benefit small and medium-sized farmers.

Poor food safety, high food losses and the exclusion of small & medium sized (SME) farmers from value chains are limiting the economic growth and social benefits of fruit and vegetable markets in Kenya. HortIMPACT works in selected horticulture value chains to change this. The project promotes innovative solutions and technologies from the private sector to improve production of fruits, vegetables and potatoes and stimulate inclusive market growth.

HortIMPACT works with Kenyan and Dutch agri-businesses, to develop business cases that support SME farmers to overcome the challenges they face to access markets, increase production, improve food safety, and reduce post-harvest losses. The business cases are developed jointly with the agribusinesses and farmers and are selected because they are economically viable, innovative, and scalable. HortIMPACT leverages private sector investments, co-investing up to 50% of the necessary costs in these business cases. HortIMPACT also cooperates with national and county government agencies to formulate and implement policies to create an enabling, inclusive environment. In addition, HortIMPACT supports innovation projects that in time could result in new business cases that support inclusive horticulture sector development in Kenya. HortIMPACT will share the good practice and lessons learned from the business cases with farmers, Kenyan and Dutch agribusinesses, and policy makers to enable upscaling of successful methods and approaches.

HortIMPACT aims to reach 50,000 SME farmers with 15 business cases that focus on the following components:

HortIMPACT has the following specific objectives:

  1. Enhance the entrepreneurial capacities and performance of SME farmers and agri-businesses to create improved market access to domestic and international markets in different commercial horticulture value chains;
  2. Support farmer, industry and government level organisations to effectively address systemic challenges related to the inclusion of small and medium sized farmers in market oriented supply chains, improvement of food safety and reduction of food losses in the horticulture sector.

1. Promoting the inclusion of SME Farmers

HortIMPACT links SME farmers and farmer groups to innovative and proven technologies to increase farm productivity, quality and efficiency so they can compete in commercial value chains. The programme brokers connections between farmers, businesses and other actors in the value chain to build networks for fair access to domestic and export markets. The programme is also committed to promoting participation of women and young people in commercial horticulture value chains. In its first business case HortIMPACT collaborated with commercial input suppliers to build the capacities of SME farmers to grow tomatoes and other vegetables in greenhouses. At twelve demo sites across Kenya, over 4,000 farmers were trained to improve production. Of these farmers, 75% adopted promoted technologies on their farm, while sales of participating input suppliers increased by 20%.

2. Improving food safety

Most fresh fruits and vegetables for the local market are sold at open-air markets and roadside kiosks. Typically pesticide use during production is very high, while pesticide residue, heavy metal, and microbiological contaminant tests are rarely done. As a result, concern over the safety of fruit and vegetable consumption continues to grow amongst domestic consumers, impacting dietary diversity and limiting market growth. As part of HortIMPACT 3,480 professional spray service providers (SSPs) across 6 counties were trained. These SSPs will make it possible that thousands of SME farmers benefit from improved spraying techniques for their crops, while reducing the use of pesticides on crops produced in Kenya.

3. Reducing Post-Harvest Losses

Post-harvest food losses reduce the availability of nutritious fruits and vegetables, the income of farmers, and can lead to higher consumer prices. Furthermore, the valuable resources that are used to grow and process are also lost, creating further negative environmental impact. HortIMPACT addresses post-harvest losses for example by promoting value addition for mangoes. During peak production seasons, 40% of mangoes in Kenya are lost. In one business case, the start-up company Burton & Bamber produces dried sweet mango snacks, which leads to reduced losses and increased farmer incomes.

What's new?

Key facts



Promote inclusion of small and medium sized farmers in commercial horticulture value chains


Improve food safety


Reduce post-harvest losses

Our results

Increased income for
Reduced pesticides use by
bottles of ketchup
made from tomatos otherwise wasted
Creating a market for
mango farmers
“Creating a win-win for farmers, agri-business and consumers.“

Our experts

Donors & Partners


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