The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives (MoALF&C) in consultation with agricultural sector stakeholders identified warehouse receipt system (WRS) as a key intervention to improving agricultural commodities’ storage, reduce post-harvest losses, curb value chain inefficiencies, and increase financial lending and earnings in the agricultural sector.
The government included ware potato in the strategic food reserve. NPCK is working with Warehouse Receipt System Council (WRSC) on the modalities of implementation of the initiative.
The introduction and implementation of WRS will enable farmers to deposit storable potato for a warehouse receipt (WR). A WR is a document issued by warehouse management as evidence that specified commodities of stated quantity and quality have been deposited at a particular location. Usually prices slump right after harvesting time. This way, the farmer are able to sell their produce when they find the prices most favourable.
Most of the potato farmers in Kenya are smallholders and are faced with the challenge of access to finance to enable them better their production. WRS will therefore help improve access for credit to farmers since they can access loans using the warehouse receipt as collateral.
Farmers can also buy other farm inputs like fertilizer using the receipt and pay once the potato has been sold. The system will allow farmers to decide when to sell their potato for example when the market price is right. Therefore, collective marketing under WRS by potato farmers will address the challenges of inadequate agricultural funding and promote good post-harvest management and proper storage of their potato.
NPCK and WRSC will track data on the uptake and adoption of the system within the counties.
Photo: Potatoes stored in a warehouse.