Small-Scale Horticulture Development Project (SHDP) is a project funded by the

African Development Bank (AfDB), the Government of Kenya (GoK) and

beneficiaries who are the farmers to the tune of KSh 2.075 billion. The project started

in August, 2008 and will end in December, 2015.


The objective of the project is to increase household incomes of smallholder

horticultural producers through increased production of horticultural products and



1. Increased access to irrigated land

2. Increased horticulture productivity

3. Increased incomes for smallholder farmers

4. Improved environmental management

5. Organised market

6. Improved farmers’ linkages to financial institutions


The project has been implemented through 9 Irrigation schemes within 7 counties as

per the table below.

Name of Irrigation Scheme Sub County County
Mosiro Narok East Narok
Ngurumani Kajiado West Kajiado
Namelok Loitokitok Kajiado
Lari Wendani Subukia Nakuru
Kabanon-Kapkamak Marakwet West Elgeyo Marakwet  County
Kabaa Mwala Machakos
Kauti Kathiani Machakos
Kathiga Gacheru Mbeere North Embu
Mbogoni Chuka Igambang’ombe Tharaka Nithi


The project has been implemented through 3 components namely: -Irrigation and

Infrastructure Development, Farmers Support and Project Coordination.

Irrigation and Infrastructure Development Component

This component deals primarily with construction of new and/or rehabilitation of old

irrigation infrastructure and rehabilitation of access roads. It also deals with

environmental conservation activities such as watershed management and spring


Farmers Support Component

This component has two sub components, horticulture production & marketing and

financial Services support. Under this component, the main activities are

construction of post-harvest handling facilities to reduce post-harvest losses and

enhance market quality of produce; mobilisation of farmers; empowering farmers

through training; provision of structures, equipment and materials for value addition

and income generation; and linking farmers to various service providers.

Project Coordination Component

The Project Steering Committee (PSC) under the chairmanship of the Principal

Secretary State Department of Agriculture is the top most organ in the project

structure. It is the main policy making organ with the mandate of providing overall

policy guidance. The PSC oversees the project implementation.

Under the PSC is the Project Coordinating Unit (PCU). This is the technical arm of

the project that coordinates the day-to-day activities of the project. The PCU is

headed by the Project Coordinator and is under the directorate of Crop Resources,

Agribusiness and Market development in the State Department of Agriculture.

At the field level, there is the Sub County Project Coordinating Committees (SCPCC)

formally the District Project Coordinating committees (DPCC) that has functional

responsibility of implementation of the activities at the farmer level.

At the community level each scheme is managed by a gender sensitive Irrigation

Water Users Association (IWUA). The IWUAs further delegate core activities to

various sub-committees for efficiency.


The project has made some achievements as follows: –


1. Rehabilitated 9 Irrigation Schemes. This has been done by constructing new infrastructure or rehabilitating and improving old infrastructure.

 Specific Details of Achieved Irrigated Land and Utilization for the 9 Schemes – August 2015
Name of the scheme County Sub County Year of Completion InitialHa Target Ha Achieved crop  Ha
Kabaa Machakos Mwala 2011/12 186 240 340
Kathiga Gacheru Embu Mbeere North 2011/12 0.3 80 70
Kauti Machakos Kathiani 2012/13 32.3 71.5 72
Mbogoni Tharaka Nithi Meru 2012/13 0 100 120
Namelok Kajiado Loitokitok 2012/13 69 656 459
Lari Wendani Nakuru Subukia 2012/13 25 100 95
Kabanon Kapkamak Keiyo Marakwet Marakwet West 2013/14 82 600 706
Mosiro Narok North Narok 2013/14 5 325 310
Ngurumani Kajiado Kajiado North 2013/14 319 1,000 400
Total       719 3,173 2,572

Developing irrigation command area to 3173 Ha has resulted in improved farming performance and efficiency in the 9 schemes. Crop production is on-going in 81 % of the developed area.

To enhance water use efficiency 69 Ha has been installed with drip system: 9 Ha in Lari Wendani and 60 Ha in Mbogoni Irrigation scheme.

In addition to construction and rehabilitation of irrigation infrastructure, 17 livestock watering troughs have been constructed, Mosiro (5), Ngurumani (5) and Namelok (7). This has enhanced livestock productivity. In Mosiro for instance, over 1,000 head of cattle and 5,000 sheep & goats have been supported by the vegetative residues and watering troughs while in Ngurumani the estimate is over 10,000 cattle.

2. Improved Management of the Schemes.

The 9 schemes are managed by Irrigation Water Users’ Associations (IWUAs). Before the project intervention, the schemes had docile management committees. In some schemes there were no management committees at all. However, the project has enabled the formation and empowerment of 9 gender-sensitive Irrigation Water Users’ Associations (IWUAs). The associations are legal entities registered with the office of the Attorney General.

3. Construction of 9 Grading and Marketing sheds.

The structures have a grading and a sorting hall, a temporally produce cooling room and an office where Irrigation Water Users’ Associations do their operations from. In addition, within the compound there is a store where the management can keep agricultural inputs for easy access to the farmers. For sanitary and hygiene purposes there is an ablution block and water supplied from a bore hole (drilled by the project), or from water harvested from the roof catchment.

4. Increased Horticulture Productivity

There has been increased production and productivity of horticultural crops for food, domestic and export market.

5. Increased Farm Incomes.

With increased crop production and productivity, farmers’ earnings have progressively increased over time. Total earnings from the 9 schemes have increased from ksh.114.1 to 534.6 million between October 2012 and April 2015.

Estimated Progressive Earnings Per Scheme in Ksh.
S/No Scheme October 2012(Millions ) May 20113(Millions) April 2015(Millions)
1. Kabaa 70 114 117
2. Mbogoni 0 3.5 24
3. Kathiga Gacheru 0 11 40
4. Lari Wendani 2 8 122
5. Namelok 33 39 96
6. Kauti 7 9 23
7. Kabanon Kapkamak 2.1 5.6 20.3
8. Ngurumani 0 28.5 22.7
9. Mosiro 0 0 71.1
  Total 114.1 218.6 534.6

Outcomes of increased farm incomes

With increased farm incomes farmers have been able improve their livelihoods. Some have ploughed back their earnings into their farms while others have invested in building better houses and educating their children in better schools.

6. Improvement of Access roads.

94 km of access roads have been improved, making the schemes more accessible. This has improved supply of agricultural inputs to the schemes as well as collection of farm produce for marketing outside the schemes.

7. Environmental Conservation.

18 water springs have been protected. This has resulted in increased flow of water available for irrigation and domestic use.

8. Soil Characterization and Water Quality Monitoring

In collaboration with Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO) soil mapping and characterisation has been done in all the 9 schemes. Similarly the water used for irrigation has been analysed and is monitored.

9. Plant Clinics

In collaboration with KALRO and Plant wise, 9 plant clinics were launched and are operational as a concept supporting sustainable pest and disease management to enhance productivity. Plant clinics are forums where farmers bring any diseased plant materials or pests for diagnosis and receive advice by trained officers referred to as plant doctors. The forums are set up regularly within the schemes. Through plant clinics farmers within the schemes have been able to reduce plant pest and disease damage.

10. Market linkages

Market linkages have been established. 15 exporters have signed contracts with farmers through Horticulture Crops Directorate (HCD) of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Authority (AFFA). Linkages have also been established with financial service providers such as Equity Bank, Cooperative Bank, KCB and input suppliers.

11. National Horticulture Market Information System (NaHMIS).

The project is developing a National Horticulture Market Information System (NaHMIS) in conjunction with HCD. This will greatly enhance access to market information by farmers.

 12. Women and Youth Empowerment.

The project has empowered women and youth to create wealth and employment by providing them with agro processing and income generating materials, equipment and tools as follows:

10 green houses and 10 agro-forestry tree nurseries have been constructed; 50 bee hives, 50 honey harvesting kits, 1 honey processing equipment, a hay baler, 6 cereal/posho mills, 6 vegetable shredders, 4 baking equipment, 2 generators, 1 walking tractor complete with rotavator, trailer and disc plough have been provided. These structures and equipment have benefited a total of 45 women and youth groups.


Small Scale Horticulture Development Project

Ngong Road, Hill Plaza Building, 9th Floor (Opposite Milimani Law Courts),

P.O. Box 30028-00100. NAIROBI