Rural Non-Farm Enterprises Needs towards Positive Rural Livelihood Outcomes in Kiambu County, Kenya


  • Ann Mugure Mureithi Tangaza University College
  • Prof. Robert White Tangaza University College
  • Dr. Paul S. Wesonga University of Nairobi



Rural non-farm activities contribute to the agricultural value chain. These activities include agro-processing, breeding, transport, distribution, marketing and retail. The need to recognise the factors that influence people to engage in diversified rural non-farm activities in the agricultural sector has been noted to be crucial, as it can act as a guide to strategising and promoting the agricultural sector. Therefore, this study sought to assess the support that RNFEs need to ensure positive rural livelihood outcomes. The study adopted an epistemology philosophy. The target population was all non-farm small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Kiambu County who have prevailed by supporting agrarian related exercises. This population of RNFEs came from every one of the 12 sub-areas: Gatundu North, Gatundu South, Thika, Juja, Githunguri, Ruiru, Kiambu, Kiambaa, Kabete, Kikuyu, Lari and Limuru. The study investigated five rural non-farm undertakings occupied with the accompanying regions: agribusiness activities, rural industrialisation ventures, transport services, the travel industry activities and development ventures. The study used questionnaires and interview guides for primary data collection. The inferential model indicated that there was a strong relationship between government and farmers. Many enterprises were not able to obtain finances for start-up businesses and/or expansion of their businesses. The main contributory factors to rural livelihood outcomes were (a) to have access to income and (b) to be able to gain employment. RNFEs is a way of improving rural infrastructure development, which allows production and growth of basic goods and services. Forms of government support that have been experienced include legislation, financing, empowerment of the marginalised and improvement of infrastructure, with the most important support coming from improvement of infrastructure. The major support that RNFEs are able to access are improvement of infrastructure such as roads, hospitals and learning institutions, which enable quick development and growth. The study further recommends on the need for a support mechanism procedure for RNFEs. The study recommended on availability of cheap loans with low interest rates for farmers. The lending interest rates were unaffordable for RNFEs, thus making it challenging for the growth of rural livelihood outcome from an entrepreneurship perspective.

Keywords: Rural Non-Farm Enterprises, government support, Livelihood Outcomes, Kiambu County, Kenya

Author Biographies

Ann Mugure Mureithi, Tangaza University College

PhD Candidate, Tangaza University College

Prof. Robert White , Tangaza University College

Institute of Social Ministry and Mission, Tangaza University College

Dr. Paul S. Wesonga, University of Nairobi

Department of Land Resource Management and Agricultural Technology, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, University of Nairobi


Binswanger, H. P. Alex, F. M. & Praful, P. (2015). Structural transformation and African agriculture. Global Journal of Emerging Market Economies, 2 (2):113-152.

Cohen, L., Manion, L. & Morrison, K. (2018). Research methods in education (6th ed.). London & New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group. 133—164.

Davis, J. (2016). Rural non-farm livelihoods in transition economies: emerging issues and policies. Electronic Journal of Agricultural and Development Economics, 3(2), 180–224.

Ellis, F. (2014). Rural livelihoods and diversity in developing countries: Oxford University Press.

Gajigo, O. (2013). Credit constraints and agricultural risk for non-farm enterprises. African Development Review. 25. 10.

Haggblade, S., Hazell, P. & Reardon, T. (2017). Transforming the rural non-farm economy. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). (2014). Youth and agriculture: Key challenges and concrete solutions. Rome: International Fund for Agricultural Development.

Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. (2017). Kenya Statistical Abstract 2017. Nairobi, Kenya: Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.

Lanjouw, J. & Lanjouw, P. (2017). Rural non-farm employment: A survey. World Bank Policy Research Paper, No. 1463.

Mah, J. Z., Ghulam, Y. & Mariah, I. (2015). Social networking a source for developing entrepreneurial intentions among entrepreneurs: A case of Multan. Asian Economic and Financial Review, 2(8), 102-108.

Malek, M. A. & Usami, K. (2014). Determinants of non-farm employment in rural Bangladesh: A case of advanced villages. Journal of Bangladesh Studies: 11(2), 20–34.

McKenzie, D. J. & Woodruff, C. (2012). What are we learning from business training and entrepreneurship evaluations around the developing world? IZA Discussion Papers, No. 6895, Institute for the Study of Labour (IZA), Bonn.

Njeru, L. K. & Gichimu, B. M. (2014). Influence of access to land and finances on Kenyan youth participation in agriculture: A review. International Journal of Development and Economic Sustainability, 2(3).

Philo, G. (2018). Active audiences and the construction of public knowledge. Journalism Studies, 9(4), 4535-544.

Philo, G., Miller, D. & Happer, C. (2015). Circuits of communication and structures of power: The sociology of the mass media. In Holborn, M. (ed.), Contemporary Sociology. London, United Kingdom: Polity.

Reardon, T. (2018). Rural non-farm income in developing countries. Rome: Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations, 29(3): 395-409.

Republic of Kenya, (2018). Economic review of agriculture. Nairobi: The Central Planning and Monitoring Unit, Ministry of Agriculture.

Senadza, B. (2012). Education inequality in Ghana: gender and spatial dimensions. Journal of Economic Studies, 39 (6), 724-739.

Start, D. (2011). The rise and fall of the rural non-farm economy: poverty impacts and policy options. Development Policy Review 19(4): 491-505.

Taylor, J. & Yunez-Naude, A. (2015). The returns from schooling in a diversified rural economy. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 82(2), 12-34.

Timmer, P. (2014). A world without agriculture: The structural transformation in historical perspective. Washington D.C.: The American Enterprise Institute Press.

Umunnakwe, V. (2014). Factors influencing the involvement in non-agricultural income-generating activities of rural youth: A case study in Jabalpur district of Madhya Pradesh, India. Journal of Universal Ruhuna, 2, 24-32.

USAID. (2017). Livelihoods Diversification Analysis (LDA): Literature Review. USAID/Senegal Monitoring and Evaluation Project.

Winters, P., Carletto G., Davis B., Stamoulis K. & Zezza A. M. (2011). Rural income-generating activities in developing countries. A multi-country analysis. Rome: FAO.




How to Cite

Mureithi, A. M., White, R., & Wesonga, P. S. (2022). Rural Non-Farm Enterprises Needs towards Positive Rural Livelihood Outcomes in Kiambu County, Kenya. Journal of Entrepreneurship & Project Management, 6(3), 59–76.