The main food crops grown in Kwale County include maize, cassava, beans, peas, grams and semi-commercial crops like coconuts and mangoes. The cash crops grown are cashew nuts, sugarcane, cotton, simsim, bixa and tobacco.
The average farm size for Kwale County is 4.4 Acres and 100 Acres for small Scale and large scale respectively.
The storage facilities in the county are traditional granaries for on-farm and NCPB stores at Kwale town for off-farm. The county NCPB store is mostly used for storage of surplus cereals from the county and from neighbouring counties.
Livestock production is the main economic activity of the Nyika Plateau which receives rainfall of below 700mm. The Nyika Plateau covers about two thirds of the county. According to the 2009 Census the population of livestock stood at 255,143 cattle, 349,755 goats, 83,133 sheep and 433,827 indigenous chicken. The main cattle breeds are Zebu and Boran for beef and Crosses of Ayrshire and Sahiwal for dairy.
Number of Ranches
There are 13 ranches in the county with an average size of 15,055 Hectares. Out of these five are company ranches and eight group ranches most of which are in Kinango Sub-county.
Main Fishing Activities
Kwale has abundant fisheries reserves along the coastline. Major fish reserves include: Shimoni, Vanga, Msambweni, Diani, and Tiwi. There are 40 landing sites and the main types of fish catch are Rabbit Fish, scavengers, Jack Fish and King Fish. In addition, there are 338 fish ponds in the county and the number is expected to go up because of the ongoing Fish Farming Enterprise and Productivity Programme under the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP).
Kwale County does not have commercial plantations. There is one rain forest that is Shimba Hills Forest. There are a number of indigenous forests commonly known as Kayas which are sacred sites and are maintained by the Miji Kenda Councils of elders. The size of the gazetted forest is 350.45Km2 and 1900Km2 for non-gazetted forest.
Forestry is a major source of income, food and medicine to local communities. The many indigenous forests facilitate ecotourism by providing tourists with nature trails, scenic attraction, animal viewing, and bird and butterfly watching. They also provide wood and timber for construction purposes as well as charcoal on which over 90 percent of rural households depend. The mangrove forests sustain bee-keeping that produces high quality honey and provide shelter to some fish species and oysters. Additionally, mangrove poles are used in the making of fishing traps and in construction. Forests also provide raw materials for the manufacture of mosquito repellents, tooth brushes, glue, dyes, shampoos, soaps and rope.
Promotion of Agro-Forestry and Green Economy
Most farmers have adopted agro-forestry and green economy as a result of ongoing promotion of agro-forestry and tree planting sensitization programmes in the county. This will reduce dependency on indigenous forest for wood fuel. Kayas rehabilitation is ongoing to maintain Kaya Catchment for ground water rejuvenation as well as protection of Marere Water Catchment in Shimba Hills Forest. There is horticulture farming at Kubo and Msambweni Division for both domestic consumption and commercial use.