Since its establishment, HCDA has never looked back and is now focused on making horticulture the main source of income for Kenya and its people.
Horticultural farming in Kenya began during the early settlements of immigrant races under British colonial rule. Missionaries brought with them some fruit trees and vegetable seeds for growing in their kitchen gardens and so did the early settlers. There was no commercial activity as all the products were consumed at family/group level.
The Asian workers who came in during the building of the Kenya–Uganda Railway between 1893 and 1902 brought with them vegetables and fruits such as (mooli, karela, mangoes, gourds, drumsticks, etc) while the Europeans brought in cabbages, carrots, beetroots, rhubarb, plums, apples, pears, peaches and strawberries.
With the Dutch settlers came citrus, avocados, South African grapes, potatoes, fennel, kales, fenugreek and cape gooseberries, essential oils such as tung, geranium, eucalyptus and cedar. It is noteworthy that indigenous Kenyans hardly participated in the introduction or growing of horticultural crops which were not part of their diets and were inaccessible because trade did not exist.