Potato is undoubtedly ranked the second Kenyan staple food crop. Its annual value is estimated as $500 million USD. Over 2.5 Million Kenyans generates income from potato along the value chain. It is a highly nutritious crop rich in minerals and proteins. Despite increasing the area of production in Kenya, the annual yield is 9–10 t/ha which is below the potential of 20–40 t/ha. Among various production constraints limiting its production, potato cyst nematodes (PCN) are major economic pests which have contributed to loss of income for farmers, unstable international and local markets and increased expenses incurred during and surveys. PCNs have the ability to persist in the soil for over 20 years hence pose a challenge in production. The pest is mainly spread through contaminated soil which adheres to seeds, farm equipment, gumboots and machinery. The viable eggs of PCN in the soil can contribute to losses estimated at 2.75 t/ha.
To manage PCN, farmers are encouraged to plant certified seeds, practice crop rotation, contain water and soil when harvesting tubers to minimize chances of contamination, and segregate potatoes during storage. Every potato value chain actor has a role to play towards management of PCN. The government needs to strengthen capacities to manage PCN. This include facilitating training farmers on good agricultural practices, harmonizing seed certification schemes, strengthening the human resource and infrastructure capacity and improving the diagnostic capacity.