Farmers Field Day Raises Profile of Potato as Crop for Economic Growth and Food Security

MoloKEPHIS held its second potato field day in Molo County, continuing to inform, educate and promote the tuber as an important food security crop in the country. The event, held at the Agricultural Development Corporation Farm in Molo, urged farmers to explore the various varieties of potatoes on display and grow them either for chips and crisps.

Since 2013, KEPHIS in collaboration with local and international breeders has released (made available for multiplication) 52 potato varieties. These include Ambition, Laura, Lady Amarilla, Derby, Markies, Sagitta, Saviola, Musica, Royal, Jelly, El Mundo, Faluka, Challenger, Evora, Panamera, Rodeo, Sifra, Voyager, UNICA, Konjo, Carolus, Zafira, Milva, Connect, Sarpo Mira, Mayan Gold, among others. However, Shangi controls about 70% of the market. The varieties are for chips and crisps production. Many international hotel chains and restaurants have set shop in the country and have quality standards to adhere to, hence need suitable potato varieties to produce their food. The released varieties meet some of these quality standards; there are also table varieties for chips and crisps. This in essence means that these hotels and restaurants do not have to import potato; business people can multiply the released varieties. The released varieties are resistant to diseases other than Bacterial Wilt. Released varieties have also created the need for elevated technologies. For instance, using machines for planting, harvesting and development of cold storage facilities. Molo, in Nakuru County is one of the country’s top producing potato counties.

The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization, Suera Farm and Kisima farm are some of the potato breeders that showcased their varieties to farmers, students and other stakeholders who attended the event.


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Farmers, students and other stakeholders during the field day

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Lady Rosetta, Shangi and Sherekea were some of the potato varieties on display during the Molo field day

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