Potato farmers in Kenya’s Nyandarua county will benefit from the recent signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) by a consortium supporting the local potato supply chain, AgricoPSA reports. The producer of Kenyan certified seed potatoes declares the signing of the MoU in Nyandarua county earlier this month as an important milestone in establishing the nationwide sustainable potato value chain.
‘The MoU should help more Nyandaruan potato farmers benefit from the market opportunity created by KFC’s decision to procure its chips in Kenya. By entering the consortium, potato farmers acquire access to affordable and high quality inputs, to finance and to sustainable markets’, they clarify on their website.
In January of 2022, KFC announced that it opened its doors to Kenyan farmers for supplying the American fast-food chain with potatoes for potato chips, as long as they meet their standards. After this announcement, a potato market partnership was being formed to create a nationwide sustainable potato supply chain. The consortium that was established and has now signed the MoU with Nyandarua county, consists of the Co-operative Bank of Kenya (providing affordable financing options for the farmers to ensure timely access to quality inputs), AgricoPSA (delivering the potato seed varieties), Yara (providing access to crop nutrition solutions), Bayer East Africa (providing its crop protection solutions) and Simplifine (providing market access for the financed farmers by buying their produce).
AgricoPSA clarified last year that KFC’s first requirement – quality – comes down to high food safety processing standards & procedures and the use of the prescribed potato variety Markies for producing chips. According to the producer, growing Markies lowers farming risks for Kenyan potato farmers, as they acquire access to two premium markets. ‘The potato chips industry requests their large Markies potatoes and the potato crisping industry favors their smaller Markies sizes’, the company explains, adding that Markies has become the number one for potato chips in Kenya and is increasingly demanded by Kenya’s crisping industry. ‘By supplying the prescribed potato variety Markies to farmers who are interested in supplying KFC’s processors such as Simplifine, we have been playing a key role in the consortium’, AgricoPSA states. Observing the rapid growth in the demand for this processing variety, the company has been continuously upscaling its Kenyan production of Markies.
Over the year, AgricoPSA expects to achieve more milestones in other potato producing counties and to further upscale Kenya’s potato value chain. ‘By doing so we lower Kenya’s potato imports from countries such as Egypt and South Africa. Instead we further strengthen Kenya’s local economy, farmers and small and medium sized companies’, the company declares.
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