NPCK 2017 EVENTS
As part of its efforts to transform the Potato Industry, the NPCK has established forums for information sharing, showcasing technologies, and innovations and for business-to-business interactions. These initiatives are aimed at increasing awareness and sharing knowledge on innovations and technologies in developing agribusinesses, increasing availability of high quality inputs and improving productivity, which lead to transformation of the potato subsector.
THE NATIONAL POTATO CONFERENCE 2017
The event supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), Irish Embassy, the Kenya- Netherlands seed Potato development project, Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Fisheries (MoALF), Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO), Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), International Potato Center(CIP), Grow Africa, SNV the Netherlands Organisation and Safaricom Limited was held on 24th and 25 May 2017 at the Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) Head Quarters Loresho.
The theme of the conference was:
“Optimizing opportunities in the potato value chains through innovations and partnerships”
While the objectives were:
- To create awareness and demonstrate Potato technologies and innovations.
- To provide a networking platform for stakeholders
The event was attended by over 1,000 participants and 26 exhibitors drawn from the entire potato value chain participated.
The Key events during the conference were:
Session 1: Pre-Conference Leaders Networking Cocktail
The event was entirely supported by the Safaricom limited, which is spearheading the Connected Farmer solution. This is a mobile application tool that is used to register, profile and communicate to farmers; purchase, record and make payments of potatoes via MPESA; linking farmers to markets; tracking the movement of produce from the farm to the off-takers; providing and tracking inputs stock items (Input loans) and providing knowledge portal for farmers to query. The Connected farmer Solution will go a long way in solving potato-marketing challenges
It saw participation of over 80 business leaders of organizations and companies across the potato value chain. The guest speaker of the meeting was Mr., Kimani Rugendo, Managing Director of Kevian Kenya Ltd who talked about the investment opportunities in the potato value chains. The meeting gave business leaders an opportunity to connect with key influencers in the potato subsector, Build relationship with other stakeholders in the value chain and benefit from new ideas and trends on what others were doing across the potato value chain. In his speech, he noted that the Potato was an important livelihood source for over 2.7 million actors along the marketing channels, and contributed to over US $500 million (Kshs 50 billion) to the economy of Kenya and urged participants to take advantage of the available opportunities to reach to a full potential of the crop.
Session 2: Official opening of the National Potato Conference and the plenary Sessions
The Conference was officially opened by the Cabinet Secretary (CS), Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries (MoALF). Mr. Willy Bett, In his speech he expressed the desire to see Diversification in the National diet by Kenyan consumers by not only concentrating on Maize but also on other products like potato.
The conference had two plenary sessions with different topics being discussed
- Storage, Marketing, and processing
- Seed System and Variety Development
Session 3: The Match making Sessions
This session was specifically designed to will provide an interactive opportunity to interested stakeholders with the farmers on products and services, technologies, innovations and value chain support. Each session lasted utmost 45 minutes with at least 200 participants.
It is during this session that over 400 farmers drawn from the primary 13 potato growing counties were trained on how to use the Viazi Soko software and the ‘connected farmer’ application. This platform was developed through a partnership between NPCK and CIP through Feed the future -Accelerated Value Chain Development (AVCD) project with technical support from Safaricom.
Session 4: The market place/ exhibitions
This was a two-day event where 26 Exhibitors participated in the event displaying the different technologies and innovations in the Potato Value chain.
During the conference, the Connected Farmer solution and Viazi Soko were launched, this is an online, and SMS based seed and ware potato marketing portals. The Connected Farmer solution is aimed at improving marketing through online ordering hence facilitating record keeping while ensuring traceability whereas the Viazi soko targets at improving market linkages between seed potato producers, ware potato producers, and market outlets.
NYANDARUA COUNTY POTATO FAIR: 3RD MARCH 2017
The NPCK in partnership with the Nyandarua County government held the Nyandarua Potato Fair on 3rd March 2017 at ATC Ol Jororok under the theme “Enhancing technologies in Potato value chains for food security and agribusiness”. The event was graced by H.E honorable Waithaka Mwangi the Governor of Nyandarua County and Dr. Andrew Tuimur, P.S, State Department of Livestock, Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Fisheries…
The objectives of the fair were:
- To create awareness on available technologies and innovations.
- To demonstrate on the available Potato technologies.
- To provide a networking platform for service providers and other stakeholders.
- Enlighten on potato policy, regulations, and standards.
Below is a video highlight of the event