Potatoes are a rich source of nutrition and energy because of their high content of vitamins, minerals and essential organic compounds and are both a staple food and a cash crop.
Kenya’s expanding population, increased urbanisation and the popularity of fast foods are driving an escalating demand for potatoes to supplement maize and rice as basic foods.
They are generally grown in the higher altitude areas, in 15 counties, on rain-fed land, where they compete favorably with maize production.
800,000 people in Kenya directly benefit from on potato farming production while potatoes provide a source of income for over 2.5 million people employed in the value chain.
Organic potatoes yielded an average of 21,200 pounds per acre over all three varieties, while conventional methods averaged 32,800 pounds per acre.
For example, returns for potatoes grown organically with conventional prices would have been considerably less profitable per acre.
According to local Newspaper The Standard, In Elgeyo Marakwet county, 90kg bag of potatoes costs the same as two plates of chips .
A bag of potatoes in the country’s highest producing area of Elgeyo Marakwet is Sh500.
The price of a plate of chips in some of the fast-food restaurant chains is about Sh250 on average thus making two plates equivalent to 90kgs of Potatoes.