It is located in the Rift Valley and it borders seven Counties; Laikipia to the north-east, Kericho to the West, Narok to the south-west, Kajiado to the South, Baringo to the North, Nyandarua to the East and Bomet to the West. The County has 11 sub-counties/constituencies namely; Naivasha, Nakuru Town West, Nakuru Town East, Kuresoi South, Kuresoi North, Molo, Rongai, Subukia, Njoro, Gilgil and Bahati. There are 55 wards in the County. Farmers in Nakuru County have two seasons per years as the county has a bimodal rainfall pattern with a high of 1800mm and a low of 500mm. Nakuru County usually has long rains between March, April, May and June, while short rains occur between October and November.
Nakuru County is one of the major potato producing counties in Kenya. Potato is the second most important staple food crop after maize in the county achieving 36,592 Ha in the year 2018 with farmers realizing Ksh 4.7 Billion (9.4billion) during that period. Kuroki South Sub County accounts for about 30% of the total potato production in the county. The potato value chain is characterized by many small scale farmers scattered in nine Sub Counties and a few large scale farmers in Mau Narok and Sirikwa Wards.
In the year 2018, about 36,593 hectares of potato were grown with total production of 181,955 metric tons in the two growing seasons. Annual production of the crop was worth about KSh.4.7 billion at farm gate prices. The industry indirectly employs producers, market agents, transporters, processors, vendors and retailers. The Nakuru County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) 2018-2022 identifies Irish potatoes as of the main cash crops produced in the counties.
Potato Projects in the County
- Project Name: Kenya Market-led Horticulture Programme –HortIMPACT
Funding partner: Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
- Inclusion of SME farmers in domestic and export markets
- Improve food safety
- Reduction of food losses
- Training farmers on best practice on potato production including promotion
- Dutch seed potato varieties
- Linking farmers to markets
- Feasibility study on commercial potato storage
- Promoting mechanization of potato production
- Project Name: Kenya Potato Sub-sector Transformation Initiative
Funding Partner: AGRA
Duration: 2017 – 2019
- Increased potato productivity for farmers
- Strengthened and expanded potato output markets for farmers
NPCK Activities with County
County Potato Strategy- Development of the county potato strategy spearheaded by NPCK, Egerton University, County government of Nakuru (Department of agriculture), NASFA , KEPHIS, SNV among others.
Nakuru County Potato subsector Coordinating Unit- Formed awaiting ratification. The coordinating unit has 4 sub-committees namely; Production, Postharvest management /value addition/marketing, Legal and policy regulatory framework and Coordination & resource mobilization and investment
Potato Liaison officer custodian of all potato information including a list of approved Chemicals to be used and potato training manuals.
NPCK also is part of the Crops (Irish Potato) Regulations, 2019 implementation committee and Nakuru county potato stakeholders’ forum.