Services for the Potato Industry
Kenyan Minister of Agriculture William Ruto has said that the Kenya Government has entered into partnership with a Dutch company to help rejuvenate the production and marketing of potatoes.
Mr Ruto also said that his ministry is finalising the paperwork for establishment of a Potato Board that will oversee the process.
Mr Ruto is on a week-long tour of the Netherlands to enhance Kenya’s potato, horticultural and diary farming interests and prospects.
The partnership is intended to revamp potato farming, which has been affected by a host of difficulties, including lack of certified seed and cold storage facilities. These along with a virtually non-existent production and marketing chain have seen Kenya fail to capitalise on its potential for potato farming.Lack of cold storage facilities has led to wasted crop, low prices and exposed farmers to unscrupulous middlemen.Subsequently, Mr Ruto has announced that his ministry’s partnership with Dutch company Agrico Potatoes will help rejuvenate potato farming in Kenya.“Our potato industry went under because of the lack of a clear policy framework for the development of the industry.”He added: “I’m glad that business people and government agencies in the Netherlands have agreed to work with private enterprises in Kenya and with the government to develop new, well-researched, high-yielding, disease-resistant varieties,” Mr Ruto said.He noted that, ultimately, Kenya would benefit from the research experience and expertise in potato business that is available in the Netherlands, especially since the biggest problem in the Kenyan potato industry is the lack of well-researched yielding varieties of the tuber.
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