Shorter of potatoes? KFC need to look no further than Nyandarua County

KFC rapidly meals joint in Lavington, Nairobi. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

A assertion by Kentucky Fried Hen (KFC) on the lack of potatoes for its neighborhood shops offers us an opportunity to replicate on the plight of farmers in our nation.

The regional franchise of the American rapidly food chain states that it is unable to satisfy the nearby demand for chips owing to a hold off in the shipment of potatoes. This is very unfortunate as potato farmers across the country, far more so in Nyandarua, are grappling with advertising troubles for their produce.

As the county with the greatest production of potatoes in the nation, we find the assertion insensitive to farmers who have put each and every exertion into producing high quality potatoes. The potato sector in Nyandarua is value an believed Sh10 billion, with an once-a-year creation of all over 550,000 metric tonnes.

Noting the worth of the crop, my governing administration has for the previous couple a long time been involved in arduous capability-building among the farmers to make sure high quality. Backed by these kinds of partners as the German Company for Worldwide Cooperation and Intercontinental Fertiliser Progress Centre, we have experienced farmers on great agricultural practices and connected them with appropriate price chain players.

Other key interventions involve operationalisation of the Tissue Culture Potato Seed Multiplication Unit in Ol’Jororok. It supplies farmers with considerably larger high-quality licensed potato seeds, free of charge from disorders this sort of as microorganisms wilt and rot by immediate multiplication of seeds by employing tissue culture, aeroponics and hydroponics systems. This is to complement an additional initiative by the national govt and my administration at National Youth Company at their Tumaini unit.

In conjunction with enhancement associates, my administration has also launched new unique varieties in buy to deliver a selection involving table potatoes and processing kinds. The varieties consist of Markies, Destiny, Caruso, Jelly, Rudolf, Unica, Panamella, Java and Dutch Robjin. Some of these kinds are amongst the kind imported from countries like Egypt.

More, a Sh100 million 1,000 metric tonnes cold storage facility in Ol’Kalou is virtually complete. With the help of President Uhuru Kenyatta, we are self-confident this will protect against post-harvest losses since farmers’ generate will be stored in a conducive ecosystem as they resource for markets.

As aspect of value addition, my administration is constructing a potato processing plant which we count on to be prepared in the class of the year.

My authorities is ready to have interaction with stakeholders – like KFC – on the most effective possible method to work with our farmers. We are all set to facilitate a direct engagement with farmers who can be contracted to give top quality potatoes. These types of an arrangement will be a earn-gain circumstance for the two parties.

I notice with appreciation that KFC is now all set to interact neighborhood farmers, which is a stage in the appropriate direction. I am additional than ready to be on the forefront in ensuring that our farmers get a great cut price from KFC and other retailers in the retail chain. My govt will be achieving out to these speedy food chains in an hard work to establish a joint performing system.

Now, we have encouraged farmers in Nyandarua to type solid co-operative societies that will empower them forge a united front in marketing their generate.

However, a holistic technique is essential to make certain that potato farmers throughout Kenya reap from their sweat. The countrywide government, for that reason, is responsibility-sure to protect farmers’ passions by making certain that imports of conveniently offered produce is both prohibited or highly discouraged. By implementing the 50kg potato packaging laws, our farmers will have another purpose to smile.

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