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Potato Value Chain Initiative Launched in Kenya

Potato Value Chain Initiative Launched in Kenya

Potato Kenya Grow Africa

Potato Value Chain Initiative Launched in Kenya

The Grow Africa Secretariat has teamed up with AGRA and National Potato Council of Kenya to kick-start a working group on establishing a robust potato value chain in Kenya with the potential to expand into other East African countries.

An inaugural meeting 28th August 2015 in Nairobi brought together a range of stakeholders interested in developing a structured value chain for potato production and processing of potatoes and in exploring opportunities for value-addition. Participants included representatives of private-sector companies Syngenta, UPL and Chase Bank and NGOs Technoserve and Global Communities.

The group agreed on a small team working on a document analyzing the scope of the market, value chain players, opportunities and obstacles.

Potato is the second most important food and cash crop after maize in Kenya and is therefore important as it offers a nutritious alternative to maize; Potato production contributes to food security through substantial employment and income, poverty eradication, and economic development. The potato value chain involves around 2.7 people, among them 800,000 smallholder farmers, and contributes over Kshs 50 billion to the economy. Low productivity levels of less than 10 tonnes per hectare - one quarter of what is considered achievable - coupled with increasing demand for potato from urban consumers, means the value chain holds great potential if addressed systemically and in concert by multiple stakeholders.  Priority improvements include: Productivity increases though better use of inputs and disease control; supportive government policies on a number of fronts including the streamlining of certification process and the facilitation of production and distribution of high quality ware and processing seed varieties; improvements in storage and marketing infrastructure and; adoption of potato marketing standard.


Feature photo courtesty of  Neil Palmer (CIAT)