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.


In February 16th 2018, the Potato council in partnership with the County government of Nyeri organized for the Eastern and central region Potato fair under the theme Enhancing technologies in Potato value chains for food security and agribusiness, at Wambugu Farm Agricultural Training center in Nyeri. The event brought together different actors in the potato value chain, which included seed potato producers, Input providers, Fertilizer Companies, organic farming, Finance, value addition and soil testing companies.

The objectives of the fair were:

  1. To create awareness on technologies and innovations.
  2. To provide a networking platform for service providers and other stakeholders.
  3. Enlighten on potato policy, regulations, and standards.

There were 19 Potato demonstration plots where different potato varieties and seed potato technologies were displayed and 36 exhibitors from across the value chain that displayed their products and services on

  1. New and improved Potato Varieties for better yields
  2. Methods of Farming and Input application
  3. Soil and crop Nutrition
  4. New Innovation and technologies in seed potato production
  5. Organic Farming
  6. Crop Financing and insurance

The event was attended by 34 partners, over 1,000 farmers and was officially opened by Director of Agricultural Schools, Dr. Henry Ndege who represented the Cabinet Secretary of Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, Hon Mwangi Kiunjuri and was officially closed by Governor  of Nyeri County, Hon Mutahi Kahiga. In attendance also was the County executive member in charge of Agriculture from Nyandarua County and the potato consortium.

The Fair was supported by development partners who included Grow Africa, Alliance for Green Revolution (AGRA), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization and the County government of Nyeri.

Watch the video highlight of the event below



THEME: Enhancing technologies in potato value chains for food security and agribusiness

The 2018 National Potato conference took place on 24th and 25th of May at KALRO Headquarters, Loresho. This year’s event saw participation of over 800 participants drawn from all levels of potato value chains. The conference was officially opened by the Principal Secretary, State Department of Agriculture Dr. Richard Leresian Lesiyampe, CBS and was graced by the presence of the Governor of Elgeyo Marakwet H.E Alex Tolgos and other dignitaries.

The first day of the event (24th) was mainly exhibitions where activities at different levels of potato value chains were represented which included, Mechanization, Irrigation, Seed Potato Production Technologies, Potato varieties,  Crop protection, Soil Nutrition, Insurance and Finance, Storage, regulators and women in Agriculture. Potato Nutrition was showcased for the first time. During this day, farmer group’s representatives were also trained on Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Principles and budget making processes of national and county government where public participation was emphasized in order to develop supportive regulations and policies for the subsector.

On the second day, the plenary sessions ran concurrently with the exhibitions. Four thematic areas were discussed each by a panel of experts representing different interests in the subsector. The four areas were; a) Building a Supportive Business Environment for Potato Sub Sector in Kenya through Policy and Regulation; b) Optimizing Potato Production in Kenya to Match Global Standards; c) Improving Market Efficiency for the Potato Sub-Sector in Kenya; and d) Innovation in the Potato Value Chain. Discussions were based on current trends in the sector, opportunities for growth and perceived threats.

Summary of the salient issues

The big 4 agenda: To transform the subsector we need feasible and practical innovations developed with involvement of the stakeholders and taking into consideration the existing initiatives so that transformation plans comprises of  realistic and tested approaches. 

Action point 1: Restructure the work plan of the potato technical committee with inputs from key stakeholders and factor in ongoing initiatives to achieve the big 4 agenda

Action point 2: Consider use of potato as a strategic food relief crop as      opposed to only relying on maize

Action point 3: Expand fertilizer subsidy programme to include other crops like potatoes and make it available throughout the year because of nature of potato growing characteristics

Action point 4: Consider tariff for imported ready-cut chips and provide incentives for using local potatoes to encourage the franchises to buy potatoes from our farmers           

Stakeholder partnerships and coordination: The Private sector or Markets, Research, Extension and Farmers need to act in a coordinated manner to create strengthened partnerships

Action point 1: There is need to enhance information sharing within the Sector and improving on processing and storage of data and information. The already existing data base and information packing, processing and sharing platform at NPCK should be strengthened to serve the industry better.

Finance and resource mobilization:

Action point 1: Aggregation of potatoes through collection centers for selling

Action point 2: Introduce low cost potato stores and provide incentives through duty free equipments and machines for cold stores

Action point 3: Encourage a multi stakeholder approach on farmer financing support and expand the Maize insurance program by the government to include potatoes

Action point 4: Expand and fast track the Potato Platform to support more farmers in terms of linkages with finance, inputs and ware potato marketing

Seed potato shortage

Action point 1: Encourage and provide incentives to investors on production of breeder seed and seed potato production and multiplication through partnership with seed companies and PPP with KALRO

Action point 2: Encourage and support Farmer cooperatives to engage in seed potato production

Action point 3: Fast track private accreditation to make more efficient certification proceses

Action point 4: Enhance quality control mechanism for certified seed potatoes

Policy and market access:

Action point1: Clear policy instruments and legal framework need to be enhanced (avoid confusion between root and tuber strategy vs potato strategy). Government to continue providing enabling environment for the potato sector

Action point2: Kick start country wide public participation on development of potato regulations

Action point 3:  Gazetment of the potato marketing and packaging standards to be done by July 2018 and implementation be jointly done by MOA&I, AFA, NPCK, County governments and other relevant agencies and stakeholders

Action Point 4: Promote diversification of Potato utilization to create more markets

Mechanization: The Government has signed a 10 Billon Dollar project with China to mechanize agriculture sector.

Action point1: Counties and NPCK to provide details of what equipments are needed and applicable especially hand held tractors that are suitable for our farms.

Potato Production: Low yield have continued to be registered even with the potential of high productivity of  crop in other Countries been registered 

Action point1: Encourage frequent farmers trainings on production skills and good agronomical practices

Notable developments in the sector by the National Government, County government and other Partners as realized during the Conference

Pilot registration of farmers by the MoA&I to kick off on 4th June 2018 in Kiambu and Kajiado. This will pretest the tool to register farmers and compilation of farmer data which includes and not limited to name, Id no, acreage, products, production, yields and sales

Mechanization: – Government has signed 10 Billon Dollar project with China to mechanize agriculture sector. Counties to provide details of what equipment is needed especially hand held tractors etc.

GIZ currently  implementing strategies on Nutrition sensitive Potato partnership project focusing on addressing malnutrition 

Ministry of Agriculture has identified NPCK as a strategic platform for the development of the Potato subsector and hence the National and County government will support and work together them in potato subsector transformation

Elgeyo Marakwet being one of the major potato growing counties has increased Potato producing wards from 7 to 14.


We are grateful to the Cabinet Secretary and Principle Secretary in the ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation for continued support to the potato subsector and for supporting the National Potato conference. We also highly appreciate other partner’s government agencies who continue to support the potato industry by providing resources and technical expertise. These partners include GIZ, AGRA, CIP, Grow Africa, SNV, IFDC, AFA,ASDSP, KALRO, Kenya-Dutch seed project just to name a few.

Watch the video highlight of the event below



The south rift region potato fair held on 31st August 2018 at the Baraka Agricultural College in Nakuru brought together over 1,000 farmers from within and outside Nakuru county, 29 farm input companies as exhibitors and other various potato stakeholders including County and the National governments. The event was organized by NPCK in partnership with the County government of Nakuru, AGRA, Baraka Agricultural College and Egerton University. The regional potato fair provides a platform for one-on-one interaction between potato farmers and farm input providers as well as practical demonstration on proper potato agronomic practices. It gives the exhibiting companies an opportunity to showcase latest innovations and sell their products. Farmers received training on the basics of potato farming and updates on the subsector developments including the potato packaging and marketing policies in the country. They were also trained on Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Principles and budget making processes where public participation was emphasized in order to develop suitable regulations and policies for the subsector.  The exhibitors were impressed by the high level of interest by farmers who wanted to learn more, network and purchase inputs with some running out of stock before the end of the day. Farmers were impressed by the performance of the crop at the demo plots and appreciated the practical knowledge provided at the farm. The event was graced by his Excellency the deputy governor of Nakuru Dr. Erick Korir who represented the governor. He appreciated those present and assured the constituents and the subsector of full support by the county government. He revealed that the county had established an agricultural customer care center with agricultural experts who attend to questions, concerns, and suggestions on Agriculture by the constituents. Other guests at the event were Nakuru CECMs for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives Dr. Immaculate Maina, NPCK C.E.O Mr. Wachira Kaguongo, Ms. Virginia Nyamu Principal of Baraka College, KALRO Tigoni director Dr. Peter Nyongesa, AG DVC Research Egerton Prof Isabel Wagala amongst others.

Watch the video highlight of the event below