The British colonial government had primed Kenya as an agricultural economy with tourism on the side. This premise saw Kenya’s arable land being zoned for coffee, sisal, cut flowers, tea, cotton, pyrethrum and subsistence crops like maize, beans and wheat. Livestock for both dairy and beef was also clustered in this.
Between 1963 and 1973, Kenya’s economy grew at an average real growth rate of 5%, and from 1973 to 1980 at 8%. Kenyatta started off pretty well and in his time the Kenyan economy showed more promise than that of the Asian Tigers.
It is during Kenyatta’s presidency that Kenya became a leading global producer of pyrethrum, sisal, tea and coffee.