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The land in the county is largely non-arable covering 31,798.7 km2, forming 80 % of the total land size. The arable land covers 2,547 km2, forming about 7 %.

The county is categorized into four agro- ecological zones namely: CL3 Coconut – Cassava zone (non ASAL), CL4 Cashew nuts- Cassava zones where the main economic activity is subsistence mixed farming; CL5 Lowland Livestock zone and CL6 Lowland Ranching zones where the locals are involved in pastoral activities. The soils range from sandy, dark clay and sandy loam to alluvial deposits. The soils are deep around the riverine environments but highly susceptible to erosion by water and wind.

Rainfall is low, bimodal, erratic and conventional in nature. The total annual rainfall ranges between 280 mm and 900 mm with long rains occurring in April and May, short rains in October and November with November being the wettest month. Temperatures range from 20 0c to 30 0c.

With 76.9 % of the population living in absolute poverty, and with a population growth rate of 2.8 the County is faced with the challenge of increasing food production to cater for the increasing population and alleviate poverty.
About 82.2 % of the County’s population is dependent on agriculture and livestock. In terms of agriculture, the main crops produced in the county are mangoes, cowpeas, bananas, maize, rice and green grams. Tana River County is known for the Ngowe variety of mangoes grown along the river Tana as the main cash crop. Previously the mangoes were transported outside the County for processing but now the County has a fruit processing factory in Hola where processing can be done.

Farmers in the county mainly rely on rain fed and flood recession farming systems with only a few practicing irrigated farming. The County has supported farmers with farm inputs like seeds, subsidized fertilizers and mechanized land preparation activities to boost production. In order address some of the farming challenges the County plans to engage KARI to research on issues that affect farmers from soil health, crop pests and diseases to post harvest losses.
The County has three major irrigation schemes namely Hola and Bura managed by the National Irrigation Board (NIB) and Tana Delta Irrigation Project managed by the Tana and Athi Rivers Development Authority (TARDA). These schemes utilize pump-fed and furrow irrigation and are engaged in maize and rice production.

Approximately 95% of pastoralists’ households derive their income from the livestock subsector. The pastoralists depend on indigenous Boran beef cattle, Black Head Persian sheep and Galla goats, as well as single-humped Camels. The Tanaland Boran breed of beef cattle is trypano-tolerant and can withstand harsh climatic conditions experienced in the County. Efforts are in progress to improve the livestock marketing channels and also initiate a modern abattoir for value addition of beef, and for hides and skins tannery.

Other investment opportunities existing in the County are Ranching, Beekeeping, Ostrich farming, and aquaculture.

Vision :

To Ensure sustainable management of land in the county.


Facilitate improvement of livelihood to the people through efficient administration equitable access and sustainable management of land resource.

The Land Sector is divided into 3 departments

Physical planning
Its mandate is to provide integrated urban /town/local centre development plan and regulation of the use of land and execution of development control

Survey and mapping ,
Its mandate is surveying for production of small scale topographic maps, resolving boundary issues within the county , provision of grid for cadastral survey and surveying of new grants survey and reestablish of new survey beacons.

It is responsible for ascertaining rights and interest on land in trust and transformation of ownership from customary to tenure to individual /group ownership through demarcation survey and registration.


Tana River County is located in the coastal region of Kenya. The county borders Kitui County to the West, Garissa County to the North East, Isiolo County to the North, Lamu County to the South East and Kilifi County and Indian Ocean to the South. The county straddles between latitudes 000‘53? and 200‘41‘‘South and longitudes 380 30‘ and 40015‘ East and has a total area of 38,862.20 Km2. The county has a coastal strip of only 76 Km

The county is divided into three (3) administrative units namely; Tana River, Tana North and Tana Delta, nine (9) divisions, 15 wards, forty five (45) locations and ninety six (96) sub-Locations.

Tana River County has a total area of 38,000 km 2 . Since Land in Kenya is divided into three categories, Private land which is owned by individual, public land which is set aside for public utilities and communal land which is owned by a group of people or community with common goals. In Tana river private land constitute of 5% public land constitute of 70% while community land constitute for 25

Deparment mandates physical planning
  • Providing advice to county government on physical planning matters
  • Development of local physical planning policy, guidelines and strategies
  • Preparation ,implementation, monitoring, evaluation steering and reviewing county spatial plan
  • Vetting and verification of physical development plans and building plans
  • Regulations of the use f land
  • Execution of development control and preservation orders
  • Provision of advice on matters concerning alienation and appropriate use of land such change of user, extension of user, extension of lease, conversion of analogue plan to digital
  • Management and maintenance of physical planning records and data bank
  • Resolving conflicts arising from physical planning process
Survey Mandate
  • Processing, analyzing and dissemination of geospatial data
  • Computation analysis of angular and linear measurement
  • Trigonometical heighting
  • Triangulation and computation of twin station problems
  • Photo-identification and pre-flight marking of photo controls
  • Establish and re-establish of control points, observation of level lines traversing and tacheometry
  • Engineering, cadastral, adjudication, geodetic and topographical surveys
  • Boundary surveys
  • Estimation and costing of survey projects
  • Maintenance of survey instruments
  • Human capacity development in land survey

Sector Strategic Goals and Objectives


The overall Goal of the department is to ensure equitable and transparent allocation of land in the county

  • To establish a policy/legal and institutional framework for management of land as a resource
  • To ensure the towns are well planned and up to standards
  • To provide Quality Management Systems that meet international standards.
  • Ensure proper authentication of land is followed when land is allocated to individual or community
  • To facilitate the process of land adjudication as proposed by national land commission
  • To build an informed society on land use plan and categories of land as per the constitution Kenya
  • Ensuring the boundaries between the county and the neighboring counties are clearly demarcated
  • Partnering with different stakeholders to educate communities on land policies.

To promote and disseminate appropriate animal production techniques, range management and livestock marketing information to pastoralists/farmers through provision of extension services in collaboration with research institutions and other stakeholders for socio-economic development.


To be the county leader in facilitation and delivery of efficient and effective livestock production services for a suitable and prosperous livestock sub-sector


To create a favourable production environment for sustainable development of the livestock sub-sector and to offer support services aimed at increasing output and productivity; value addition and market access for the sub-sector products.

Strategic Objectives
  • Increase Livestock productivity through provision of widely accessible inputs and services to farmers and pastoralists
  • Enhance investments in the Livestock sector
  • Increase markets access of the Livestock and Livestock products
  • Enhance institutional efficiency and effectiveness in the service
Core Values
  1. Commitment to create good and healthy working environment that shall stimulate economic growth and employment opportunities in the livestock sub sector.
  2. High degree of professionalism in service delivery.
  3. Uphold high integrity in service delivery.
  4. Team work
  5. Stakeholders networking and linkages
  6. Gender sensitivity
Current range of Functions performed by Livestock Production at the County/ Sub County
  • Provide extension services in animal husbandry, value addition and community mobilization for livestock development; Fourth Schedule Part 2(1); Fourth Schedule Part 2(14)
  • Formulation of county policies and programmes and implementation of specific national policies, programmes and agreements; Fourth Schedule Part 2(1); Fourth Schedule Part 2(10); Fourth Schedule Part 2 (8)
  • Enforce national standards and promote development of county livestock production standards in line with national guidelines. Fourth Schedule Part 2(1)
  • Develop disaster preparedness, management and mitigation strategies in livestock production in the county; Fourth Schedule Part 2(12)
  • Collaborate and liaise with mandated research centre’s and set county research agenda; Article 35, Fourth Schedule Part 2 (1).
  • Develop and implement relevant guidelines on animal and forage genetic resource, improvement and conservation Fourth Schedule Part 2(1)
  • Collect and manage livestock production data and information. Article 35, Fourth Schedule Part 2 (1).
  • Enforce national and county legislation on land use planning for Livestock Production. Fourth Schedule Part 2 (10).
  • Develop and promote sustainable use of natural resources (including rehabilitation of range lands) for livestock development. Fourth Schedule Part 2 (10).
  • Promote commercially oriented livestock production, value addition and marketing Article 35 Fourth Schedule Part 2 (1); Fourth Schedule Part 2 (7).
  • Inspect feeding and nutritional value and quality of animal feedstuffs. Article 46 (Delegated from National level)
  • Implement regional and international agreements. Fourth Schedule Part 2(1); Fourth Schedule Part 2(10);
  • Monitoring and evaluation of livestock production based programmes and projects. Fourth Schedule Part 2(1); Fourth Schedule Part 2(8);
  • Promotion of good livestock production practices Fourth Schedule Part 2(1);
  • Promotion of livestock organic farming and certification Fourth Schedule Part 2(1); Article 69.
  • Building capacity of staff in the sub-counties and wards. Fourth Schedule Part 2(14);
  • Livestock identification, registration and performance evaluation. Fourth Schedule Part 2
Major Programmes and projects

The county supports a wide range Livestock related enterprises which constitute 85% of the county. This sub sector plays an important economic and socio – cultural role among the pastoral community members. The livestock sub-sector contributes to the food and cash needs of the pastoralist and provide employment to 90% of the population. The major enterprises in the county includes:- Beef cattle, Goats, sheep, Camel Beekeeping and poultry production.

The livestock sub sector in Tana River contributes significantly to the economy as it continues to provide raw materials for industries and the sector directly influences the growth of the county’s economic growth.

The stakeholders in livestock sub sector have recognized the role of livestock industry to reverse poverty levels and contribute to the county’s economic growth.

This recognition is emphasized in various interventions which are envisaged in nation and global goals, ASDSP, MDGS, Vision 2030 and national livestock policy.

Livestock Production Challenges facing the county

In the process of implementation towards realization of its mandate the department faced various challenges which include:-

  • Unpredictable weather patterns which directly affect water and pasture availability.
  • Inadequate funding
  • In adequate marketing and information infrastructure
  • Undeveloped infrastructure especially in the interior of the sub county.
  • Inadequate livestock disease control measures.
  • Low accessibility of credit from financial institutions.
  • Inadequate genetic breeding materials.
  • Staff shortage
  • Low adoption of appropriate technologies
  • High cost and low quality inputs.
  • High levels of illiteracy
  • Inadequate office accommodation facilities
  • Cultural barriers that limits enterprise commercialization.
  • Inadequate transport facilities(old fleet of vehicles)
  • Ethnic Conflicts

The key thematic areas are anchored on the “OCEANS AND FISHERIES POLICY” that was developed in year 2008 and launched 2009.

1. Fisheries Management as mandated by the Fisheries Act CAP 378 [Revised 2012] and the enabling Legislation.
  • Under this the Department participated in the development of the “MALINDI-UNGWANA BAY” Fisheries Co- management Plan upon which all marine fisheries activities in Ungwana Bay will be based. Tana River County has 96 kilometers coastline of the Bay.
  • Supervision of the implementation of the   ”PRAWN FISHERIES MANAGEMENT PLAN” through the “Fishing vessels boarding observer programme”.
    Monitoring, Control and surveillance for removal of Illegal, Unregistered and Uncontrolled fishing activities by conducting inspection patrols where 3 successful exercises were conducted. This was accompanied by issuing of various licenses for the control of fishing, hygiene and marketing of fish and fishery products.
    Participation in the development of deep water fishing “DROPLINE TECHNIQUE”
  • ProductionThe above activities are geared towards sustainable management of the fisheries resource and increased production and productivity.The fisheries production include prawns of the Kipini/Ungwana bay fishery which is a major producer in Kenyan waters .There are pelagic and the migratory fish spp. including tuna and tuna-like fishes, little mackerel, king fish, mullets , dermersals spp, red sea bass, rabbit fish, red and snappers, and a wide variety  of other inshore spp. Total marine production was 20,000 kgs valued at ksh 20 million.
2. Aquaculture Development
  • Under the ESP Programmed of 2009 the Department constructed 937 fish ponds in all the constituencies. The ponds were either individually owned or institutional in schools. The government assisted in the construction, stocking and the initial inputs of fertilizers and fish feed.
  • The department has been providing technical support and extension outreach to the fish farmers all ever the county. Through this over 100 ponds have been installed with pond liners to stop seepage of water,300 bags of fish feed has been distributed, and 200 ponds harvested.3000 kgs of fish are reported to have been harvested this year alone valued at ksh 750,000.However this figure does not give the correct position as many farmers have failed to provide reliable data. The figure could be double or more.
  • Four groups of farmers were trained this financial year in Bura,Galole,Wenje and Tana Delta respectively
3. Fisheries Research and Development

All the research activities in the County are supported by the Kenya Coastal Development Project through the National office at the regional Center in Mombasa. The main activities include:

  • Fish drying solar facilities at Kipini
  • Modern fish smoking kilns at Kipini
  • Tana Delta Lango la Simba smoking kilns
  • Deep Sea “DROPLINE FISHING” method
  • The Department in the CIDP has proposed the construction of a Flake Ice making facility at Kipini to improve marine fish production by creating a fish cold chain regime in the County starting upstream at harvesting stages.
4. Post Harvest Practices and Trade
  • This involved inspections on fish handling facilities in Kipini where the “SEA HARVEST LTD” fish deport was inspected
  • The construction of the fish drying facilities and ice production target this area.
5. Public Awareness and Stakeholder Participation
  • The Department joined other stakeholders in the preparation of the CIDP during the public forum hearings phase and after.
  • During the preparation of the “Ring Net Management Plan” the department joined other stakeholders at all levels
6. Human Resource Development
  • All the staff members underwent training on” BMU AS AN INSTITUTION’ awareness seminar
  • Two officers underwent a course on Artisanal Fish Quality Training of Trainers in Matuga School of Government
7. Private Sector Investment
  • The Department partnered with” HANKWA FISH FARM” of Garsen to supply fish farmers with fish fingerlings
  • Kwality Fish Feeds supplied the farmers with fish feed
8. Cross Cutting Issues
  • Vulnerable and marginalized Groups
  • In all its activities gender, youth, the aged, the weak and physically challenged equity matters were observed to the best practicable level
  • Fisheries conflict resolution mechanisms are provided for in the BMU regulations.
4. Post Harvest Practices and Trade
  • This involved inspections on fish handling facilities in Kipini where the “SEA HARVEST LTD” fish deport was inspected

Many fish ponds were also lined to reduce seepage and increase productivity