Kenya has a total land area of 582,646 km2. Only about 20% of the land is suitable for cultivation, of which 12% is classified as high potential (adequate rainfall) agricultural land and about 8% is medium potential land. The rest of the land is arid or semiarid.
Agriculture remains the backbone of Kenya engaging about 75% of the work force in agriculture and food processing. Farming in Kenya is typically carried out by small producers who usually cultivate not more than two hectares using limited technology. It is these small farms, operated by about three million farming families that account for 75% of total production. There are also important commercial farms for coffee, tea, and sisal plantations and an increasing number of peasant farmers have started growing cash crops.