The Kenya/Netherlands Seed Potato Development Project aims to contribute to a conducive business climate for the development of the seed potato sector in Kenya. With potato being the second most important food crop in Kenya, and being an efficient growing crop, support to seed potato development is strategic for the sector’s further development, for its potential to address food security, and for its wider linkages to agribusiness development.

Promoting business in developing the seed potato sector in Kenya

Key to the project is to establish a yearly import of Dutch quality seed potatoes, and to multiply these potatoes by professional multipliers in Kenya. These professional seed growers form the link between the import of Dutch seed potatoes and the many small-and medium-scale Kenyan potato growers, and the processing industry. Dutch varieties haven proven quality for processing (crisping, chipping, starch) and table consumption. A wide selection of 34 varieties from different Dutch seed houses is registered in Kenya and available for the different purposes. Business opportunities are not limited to seed export and multiplication but also include storage solutions, mechanisation, and disease control.

What does the project stand for?

  • Investment in the capacity of KEPHIS in potato pests and diseases diagnostics, management of seed potato import, field inspection and certification;
  • Testing and registration of new Dutch potato varieties for ware and processing purposes (over and above the current 37 registered ones);
  • Linking Dutch and Kenyan seed potato-related business interests through trade missions, business match-making, and information sharing;
  • Capacity building of (potential) medium to large-scale seed growers to enhance seed multiplication and related agri-business skills;
  • Capacity building of county agriculture staff and other stakeholders on creating a conducive environment for seed production in Kenya;
  • Research and demonstrations on performance of Dutch varieties in different climatic zones, agronomic practices, mechanisation and disease control; and
  • Contributing to seed potato information dissemination, stakeholder engagement and sector coordination.

Four expected outcomes

  1. Effective and efficient delivery of services by KEPHIS to companies importing seed and aiming to certify locally multiplied seed potatoes;
  2. Business linkages have been created between Kenyan and Dutch companies in seed potatoes, storage and handling, mechanisation, crop protection, processing technologies and financing;
  3. Viable seed potato multiplication sector has been established in Kenya to provide the market with competitively priced certified seed; and
  4. Research institutes conduct research on the registered Dutch varieties in the different agro-ecological zones, and translate data in extension messages for farmers.