Kenyans' work ethic can be described by the saying kula jasho, which means, "eat from your labour". They are hard workers and in many cases must struggle to feed their families. The majority of Kenyans live in rural areas. Almost three-quarters of the work force are farmers. The rest work in industry or tourism.

Agriculture accounts for over one-quarter of the gross domestic product and around 65% of all exports. The most common products are coffee, tea, corn, wheat, sisal, sugar cane, fruits and vegetables. Kenya has both subsistence and cash-crop farming. Most Kenyans are able to take some excess produce to the market to sell.

Drought and crop failure are constant threats, as are soil exhaustion and bad weather. With the population doubling every 21 years, the amount of arable land per person is decreasing rapidly. More intensive farming methods are being used to help keep up with the demand.

Some villagers and farmers can't make enough money to get by and will go to the cities to find work. They send money home to help look after their families and return for weekends and holidays.

Did you know?

Kenya is one of the main producers of pyrethrum which is a mosquito repellent. It comes from a plant which people burn to ward off mosquitoes.

The unemployment rate is high in Kenya. Many people are self-employed, making crafts or food and working in their own stalls. They work in the jua kali sector, which means "people working in the hot sun."

Women play an important role in the world of work. In rural areas they help on the farms, look after the home and children and often make baskets and rugs to sell. Girls and boys in the family will sometimes do paid housework for house owners to make extra money. Some school children drop out of school. This is becoming less common as education becomes increasingly important.

Kenya's tourism industry is growing. The game parks and reserves are a big draw for people who want to go on a safari, though today most carry cameras instead of rifles. The beaches and mountains are also popular tourist destinations.