The direct market linkage between farmers and market outlets is widely viewed as part of the solution to solving challenges faced by farmers in marketing potatoes. Towards achieving this, NPCK and partners have come up with a strategic intervention dubbed Potato Marketing Forums. Recently, NPCK in collaboration with CIP and Taita Taveta County government organized for the County’s Potato Marketing Forum. Participants included farmer representatives from the eleven Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs), County Government representatives; CIP, NPCK and potato buyers (Sereni fries, Viazi kings and potato traders from Mombasa and Taita Taveta). The forum provided a platform for business to business (B2B) discussion between farmers and the potato buyers. Through these interactive discussions, buyers learnt about specific FPOs in terms of their production capacity, land acreage, varieties grown among other things. On the other hand, farmers had the opportunity to learn more about varietal preferences and procurement arrangements by each potato buyers. FPOs at the forum will be supported in accessing finance, quality farm inputs as well as contract farming with processors. They will also be introduced to new varieties preferred by the processors through joint establishment of demo plots.
Left, a section of the participants at the Taita Taveta potato marketing forum. Right a B2B discussion between FPOs and a potato processor Sereni fries.