Meru County is located east of Mt Kenya and has a total area of 6,936km2 out of which 972.3km2 is forest. It borders Isiolo to the North, Tharaka Nithi to the east, Nyeri to the South West and Laikipia to the West. The estimated area under potato production is 17,534ha with production being 196,434T,

NPCK is a member of the potato regulations implementation committee and is also in contact with the county to develop a CPS.

Farm Demonstrations Field Days and Trainings (October 2021- December 2021)

NPCK in partnership with Agrico EA, Cropnuts, Baraka, Amiran, Fanisi, Omnia, UPL, Corteva, Bayer, and Osho chemicals, Lachlan, AAK and Hygrotech are conducting field demonstrations in Meru County. The demos are meant to showcase to farmers technologies/innovations and GAPs for potato production.

In this regard, NPCK and partners conducted the first field day in the six demo sites to showcase the performance of the crops and also to train farmers on GAPs.

It is important to note that the planting of the demo plots and trainings were conducted during the Covid-19 crises period hence the team had to ensure that the preventive measures provided by the ministry of health were observed during the planning and operationalization of the field demos. These included avoiding overcrowding, wearing face masks in public, maintaining 1.5 meters apart and frequently washing or sanitizing the hands.


To demonstrate benefits of adopting high yielding varieties, high quality planting materials, high quality inputs and good crop management practices in potato production. The initiative was able to demonstrate to farmers the benefit of using good inputs and practices for increased yield and return on investment.  

Role of partners           

  1. Spray service providers-AAK
  2. Soil sampling and Testing- Cropnuts
  3. Crop protection-UPL, Corteva, Bayer, Osho chemicals, Lachlan and Amiran
  4. Fertilizer-Baraka, Amiran, Fanisi, Lachlan and Omnia.
  5. Seed- Agrico, Hygrotech and Shangi seed
  6. Overall coordination- NPCK
  7. Farmer groups/coop- Plot management in close supervision from NPCK

The protocol was developed as shown below;

  1. Amiran Full Program + Shangi seed+ Agrico
  2. Lachlan Full Program +Shangi seed+ Agrico
  3. Corteva +Baraka +Shangi+ Agrico
  4. Corteva + Fanisi + Shangi+ Agrico
  5. Bayer +Baraka+ Shangi+ Agrico
  6. Osho + Fanisi+ Shangi+ Agrico
  7. Bayer+ Omnia+ Shangi+ Agrico
  8. UPL + Omnia + Shangi+ Agrico
  9. Bayer + Fanisi + Shangi + Agrico
  10. UPL + Baraka + Shangi + Agrico
  11. Farmer Practice

Technologies showcased and role of partners

  1. Site selection and soil testing services

The site selection for the demos was carefully chosen based on parameters such as the previous crop planted, direction of run-off water and land topography. After site selection, Cropnuts took charge in soil sampling and soil testing for pathogens and complete soil analysis, and provided recommendations that were considered. Cropnuts also advised partners about the suitability of each of the sites, especially bacterial wilt and PCN-free plots. They also offered trainings to farmers on importance of soil testing, soil sampling methods, soil testing process and interpretation of soil testing results.

    2.Use of high quality seeds

The quality of the seed planted is a very important factor in determining the potato yields and quality. Agrico E.A and Hygrotech provided certified seeds required for the demo sites considering suitable varieties for the locations. The varieties provided were Markies, Destiny, Manitou and Shangi. They also trained farmers on importance of using quality seeds, improved potato varieties as well as demonstrating well sprouted tubers for planting, planting process and good crop management practices.

    3.Crop protection

In order to achieve good yields, crop protection against pests and disease is important. The common pests affecting potato are potato tuber moth, whiteflies, cutworms, and red spider mites while bacterial wilt and late and early blights are the common diseases in potato production. To manage these pests and diseases, UPL, Corteva, Bayer, Osho chemicals, Lachlan, and Amiran, provided crop protection products for the demos and also they ensured proper crop application and timely. The field agronomists trained farmers and partners on appropriate stages and timelines for application of crop protection products for effective pest and disease control. Furthermore, they demonstrated good spraying regimes through the Spray Service Providers (SSPs) trained by Agrochemical Association of Kenya (AAK).

    4.Crop nutrition

Proper application of crop specific fertilizer essential in ensuring improved crop yield. Baraka, Amiran, Lachlan, Fanisi and Omnia participated in this initiative by providing recommended fertilizer for potato planting and topdressing. The field representatives in the regions also offered a series of trainings to farmers on recommended fertilizer for potato, timely and good fertilizer application practices and recommended quantities for good yields. 

Design of the farm demonstration sites

The demonstration was based on the following treatments;

  1. Amiran Full Program + Shangi seed + Agrico
  2. Lachlan Full Program + Shangi seed + Agrico
  3. Corteva + Baraka + Shangi + Agrico
  4. Corteva + Fanisi + Shangi+ Agrico
  5. Bayer + Baraka + Shangi + Agrico
  6. Osho + Fanisi + Shangi + Agrico
  7. Bayer + Omnia + Shangi + Agrico
  8. UPL + Omnia + Shangi + Agrico
  9. Bayer + Fanisi + Shangi + Agrico
  10. UPL + Baraka + Shangi + Agrico
  11. Farmer Practice

 In this demo site, Shangi, Markies, Destiny and Hygrotech varieties were planted under nine interventions. In comparison with the farmer practice, it was observed that the following on nine treatments. Shangi variety resulted in better yield of 28.5t per acre under Lachlan full program as compared to the other treatments. Fanisi+Corteva and Omnia+UPL treatments yields were relatively low of 6t per acre. Markies variety resulted in better yields of 21t per acre under Lachlan full program as compared to the other treatments. Omnia+ UPL treatment resulted in relatively low yields of 7.5t per acre compared to other treatments. Destiny variety resulted in better yield of 18t per acre under Omnia+Bayer treatment. Below shows a table of performance summary per treatment in this demo site.

 Table 5 Yields of different potato varieties in Meru County demo site equated to acre

Variety Fanisi+Osho (t) Amiran full prog(t) Baraka+Corteva (t) Lachlan full prog (t) Omnia+UPL (t) Farmer practice (t) Fanisi+Bayer (t) Baraka+Bayer (t) Baraka+UPL (t) Omnia+Bayer (t) Fanisi+ Corteva(t)
Shangi 27 15.75 13.5 28.5 6 12 16.5 27 6
Markies 18 12 15.75 21 7.5 17.25 9
Destiny 14.25 18