CHALLENGES IN POTATO TRANSPORTATION DURING VOVID-19 LOCKDOWN

A sample transport pass for potato farmers.

Since COVID-19 was first detected in Kenya, the government has come up with various mitigating measures including some of which restricted movement such as the dusk to dawn curfew. Other restrictions followed, such as movement in and out of the Nairobi Metropolitan area as well as to and from the Counties of Kilifi, Kwale, and Mombasa. Such interventions have had serious implications in the transportation of agricultural products from farms to markets despite being classified as critical and essential products and services.

It is with this regard that NPCK in collaboration with Horticultural Crop Development Authority (HCDA) developed transport vehicle pass (Sticker) for potato traders within Nairobi. The sticker is evidence that a potato transporter is a member of NPCK and therefore has been authorized to transport potatoes during the curfew hours and to and from the lockdown areas. This is an effort to ensure food security during this pandemic with potato being the second most important food crop after maize in Kenya. This became necessary after potato transporters encountered challenges in transportation and requested NPCK to intervene.  The Potato council will continue working with relevant institutions and agencies in supporting stakeholders and ensuring the industry has smooth production and good flow of both ware and seed potatoes in the market.

We wish to urge our readers to keep safe during this Covid-19 outbreak period and to abiding by the Ministry of Health advisory on the same

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