A section of Participants during day one of the conference.

NPCK and partners held the 6th National Potato Conference on 30th and 31st May 2023 at the KALRO HQ Loresho. The conference brought together over 800 farmers, other actors and players across the value chain, who included representatives from National and County governments, off-takers, regulatory agencies, seed producers, agrochemical companies and service providers. The event provided an opportunity for networking, showcasing, and sharing information on potato value chain issues, technologies, and innovations. A total of 30 stakeholders showcased their innovations, products, and services. The event was combined with celebration of the International Potato Day, which has been declared by FAO and will be celebrated on 30th May every year. The declaration of International Potato Day confirms the many qualities of potato that make the crop a vital tool in helping to eradicate poverty, improve food security, and provide healthy and nutritious food to millions of consumers around the globe, which is key to achieving growth and transformation in the potato industry. This aligns very well with UN Sustainable development goals of 2015; (1) No poverty, (2) Zero Hunger, (8) Decent work and Economic growth, and (12) Responsible production & consumption and government of Kenya’s development agenda.

The theme of the conference was: Transforming Potato Value Chain into a Sustainable Nutrition Sensitive Food System for Socio- Economic Growth: Through Improved Seed Systems, Digital Solutions, Climate Smart Technologies and Partnerships

The objectives of the event were;

  1. Celebrating and creating awareness of International Day of Potato (IDP)
  2. Inaugurating planning committee for hosting World Potato Congress 2026 in Kenya
  3. Launching the Kenya National Potato Savings and Credit Cooperative Society
  4. Showcasing through exhibition, innovations, products and services
  5. Sharing information on policy and regulatory framework.
  6. Establish partnership for structured production and marketing

During the first day of the conference, the event was officially opened by the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock development, Mr Kello Harsama, who was represented by Ms. Rosemary Nyamu.  The Assistant FAO Kenya representative, Mr Hamisi Williams who gave a keynote speech, in which he highlighted about the importance of potato globally and its contribution to incomes and nutrition and also informed the participants about the declaration of 30th May as the International Potato Day. Ms. Joyce Maru Director Agri-Food System CIP, highlighted the importance of policy in transforming the subsector and agriculture in general. The planning committee for World Potato Congress 2026 was also officially inaugurated by the Deputy Director General Crops (KALRO) Dr. Felister Markini on behalf the Principal Secretary.

During the second day of the conference Mr. John Macharia, the Country manager, AGRA Kenya gave a keynote speech. In his speech he mentioned about the launch of AGRA strategic Plan 2023-2025 and pointed out the potato is one of the focus crops which will help boost food security in the country. Kenya National Potato Sacco was also officially launched during the conference. The Sacco aims at supporting farmers develop a saving culture and also be able to access affordable credit for better production.

We recognize and appreciate FAO and CIP for being our main sponsors for the event. Other sponsors we recognize include; Solynta for HTPS, Syngenta Seed 2B, Twiga Chemicals, KENAFF, MoALD, Corteva Agriscience, Sereni Fries, Kevian Kenya, and AFA.

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