Our Focus on Livestock

Why We Focus On Livestock

Livestock in Kenya accounts for 12% of Kenya’s GDP and 50% of the agriculture labour force. Approximately 70% of Kenya’s livestock is produced by about 10 million pastoralists in the Arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs). These constitute 18 of the 20 poorest counties in Kenya and host the highest number of people living below the poverty line (below USD 1.25 per day)

Our Vision

A modernized, efficient, organized and competitive meat industry that is linked to an improved value-added and profitable livestock production system

This vision will be achieved through the following objectives and interventions;


Stimulate private sector investments to modernize and improve the sector competitiveness through the following interventions

  • Creating consumer awareness on meat products, quality and safety to drive demand
  • Promoting uptake of food safety standards by slaughterhouses and meat retailers
  • Meat value addition and product differentiation


Increase sector productivity to meet the growing demand for livestock products through the following interventions

  • Promoting uptake of commercial fattening and finishing models to increase yields
  • Integrated Animal Health Service Provision for production inputs to support production that is market oriented


Create enabling environment and mainstreaming climate smart approaches to increase business resilience

  • Large scale transformations reinforced by improved governance, policies and support from government, industry bodies and other market players
  • Mainstreaming climate smart approaches in the critical upgrades

Sector At A Glance

The Sector

Livestock Sector employs 50% of agricultural labour force
  • Livestock
  • Others

Livestock contribution to Kenya’s overall GDP stands between 10% -13%.

  • Livestock
  • Others

Livestock contribution to Kenya’s agricultural GDP stands at 40%.

600,000 Metric Tonnes

That’s the amount of beef consumed in Kenya each year. However, data shows Kenyans are adapting white meat to replace red meat in their diets. White meat consumption is rising while red meat consumption is declining.

The Market

Kenya’s export has never exceeded 7,500 heads of cattle. Kenya’s export markets are the Middle East, West Africa, Central Africa and North Africa.
  • Met Requirements
  • Didn't Meet

98% of Kenyan produced beef, chevron and mutton does not meet the market requirements.

  • Slabs
  • Others

There are 334 licensed abattoirs in Kenya. 60% of those are slabs.

Only 2% of the licensed abattoirs (6 in total) are exporters and only 2 are manufactures.

This problem is majorly caused by the produce not meeting market requirements.

The Livestock

  • ASAL Areas
  • Other Areas

Approximately 88% of Kenya’s livestock is produced in ASAL areas. Out of those, only 14% are commercially traded in the market whereas the rest are reared for social and cultural reasons.

Livestock sector support approximately 10M Pastoralists in the ASALs.

This roughly a fifth of the entire Kenyan population depending on livestock for their livelihoods.

Our Impact In The Livestock Sector

Over 225,000 households (over 1.5 million people) have access to improved livestock markets, out of which 175,000 households (1.2 million people) have seen their incomes improve

New Pastoralist Reached

129,753 pastoralist households have access to quality and affordable animal health inputs and services through an agency-based distribution model

Increased Income

90,318 households have realised increased income of £23,835,651(from the sale of higher quality livestock

Private Sector Investments

Supporting a women-led cooperative of about 300 female members on livestock aggregation and trade for better market access. Through this initiative, over 6,000 sheep and goats have been aggregated from Marsabit and Samburu counties with a cumulative income of GBP 348,300 over the last 12 months

Learn About Our Work in the Livestock Sector

KMT Case Study

Pathways To Systemic Change in Kenya’s Livestock Sector

Projected Climate Change And Its Potential Impact On Cattle In Kajiado County

Other Focus Areas

Our Research

Facilitating markets through research for evidence-based interventions

Our Case Studies

Actual examples of how our work is making a change

Our Blog

Opinion pieces and editorials on our work and related activities

Impact Stories

Stories from all over Kenya on how our work is impacting the lives of people

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A Dawn of a New Chapter for Kenya Markets Trust

After years of successfully working together as partners with a shared mission of transforming sectors in East Africa, Gatsby Africa, Kenya Markets Trust and Msingi East Africa have decided to integrate and become one entity as of April 01, 2022.

The new integrated entity will be called Gatsby Africa – a philanthropic entity of Lord David Sainsbury and will operate across six sectors in East Africa – Commercial Forestry, Aquaculture, Textiles and Apparel, Livestock, Agricultural Inputs, and Water.

We believe that the ambition and vision of the new organisation, coupled with the breadth of our portfolio, puts us in a strong position to deliver a meaningful level of impact for millions of people in the East African region. It equally strengthens our ability to generate and share our learning with others.

Coming together allows us to leverage the strengths of the three organisations, brings efficiency to how we work, and ensures we have a greater impact in our work.

What does this mean for the work that we have been passionately championing over the years? There will be no changes to the focus and modalities of how we work or our shared commitments – our three existing programmes will continue to operate in the same way they have always done.

We will be launching the new integrated Gatsby Africa organisation on April 01, 2022. By mid-April, we will share with you a link to our new website and official social media handles. However, we will retain our current website for a minimum period of six months, so that our knowledge materials are available to you. We shall be moving these over to our new website so that nothing will be lost.

As an organisation, we are excited about the opportunities that this integration brings for our people, partners and the sectors we work in. We are humbled by the collaboration and good working relationship we have had with all our different stakeholders and look forward to continuing working with you in the new organisation.