USAID: Potato a means to boost farmers’ incomes in Kenya

Image result for usaid africaUnder the USAid-funded ‘Feed the Future Programme’ being implemented through the  Kenya Agricultural Value Chains Enterprises, we ventured into the potato to increase productivity and income for smallholders. Our  target was assisting about 500,000 farmers to improve incomes in five years. We picked the potato from our value chain studies, which indicate the tuber is a food security crop number two in Kenya after maize, and is mainly grown by smallholders. A cost benefit analysis shows there is money to be made in potato farming. However, the value chain is encumbered in problems from start to finish. Studies show that seed, storage, agronomy, marketing systems, consumption and everything else about potatoes is loaded with challenges amidst a huge potential like it is in Europe. However, a lot has been done to sort out the problems and increase productivity. The most notable is the availability of a wider selection of varieties. More