STRONG TUBERS: SUPPORTING POTATOE FARMERS

Potatoes are staple foods in Kenza. Raising their profit is an important contribution to prevent malnutrition.

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(c) GIZ/Jackson Muchoki

Project name

Promotion of nutrition-sensitive potato value chains in East Africa

Goal

The potato yields of Kenyan small farmers have increased. A contribution to improving the nutritional status of malnourished people in Kenya is accomplished.

Term

January 2017 until June 2021

Political Support

Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, MoALF

Client

Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

Budget

EUR 2.65 million 

Regions

Kenya (Nyandarua and Bungoma districts)

 

The potato (solanum tuberosum) is the second most important food in Kenya, after corn, and an important source of income for about 800,000 farmers - one third of whom are women. Potatoes are rich in carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and minerals. This makes them a nutritionally and physiologically important food. Often, they are used to make Mukimo, a traditional dish consisting of potatoes, green vegetables, beans or peas, and which is popular throughout Kenya. Potatoes also have high crop yields and relatively short growth periods (only about 90-120 days) and can therefore make a significant contribution towards securing the food supply in Kenya.

 

As a rule, small farmers grow their potatoes in plots of smaller than two hectares. The cultivation is usually done with traditional farming methods and simple tools like hoes. This is very time-consuming and, moreover, crop yields cannot be maximized with these methods. On average, only eight to ten tons per hectare are harvested in Kenya. In Germany, yields are around 40-45 tons per hectare. As a result, small farmers' crop yields are not high enough to meet the local demand.

 

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Freshly harvested potatoes. (c) GIZ/Meshack Ronoh

The Kenyan Potato Council (NPCK), along with the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture, has adopted a National Potato Strategy (2016 to 2020). With the objective of strengthening the potato sector in a lasting manner by 2020, the strategy includes measures relating to all relevant aspects of potato production. This strategy also forms the framework for the global initiative.

 

The global initiative helps small farmers increase productivity and improve the quality of their products. For example, innovative methods of cultivation and production which conserve resources and are adapted to local conditions are conveyed with the aim of achieving a lasting improvement in the income of small farmers. In addition to strengthening their entrepreneurial skills, the global initiative provides training courses which teach about hygiene, storage and careful processing of food. Finally, the initiative promotes dialogue between government agencies, research institutes and the private sector in order to strengthen the potato sector in Kenya on a lasting basis.

 

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A Project by

GIZ

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) is a globally active provider of international cooperation for sustainable development. It has more than 50 years of experience in a wide range of fields.  

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