Potato farmers eye East African countries to solve surplus

A loader carting a potato harvest,The Potato council is now eyeing regional countries to solve the market surplus problem PHOTO COURTESY
Nairobi, KENYA: The Potato council Kenya chapter is eying exporting the product to East African countries to solve the fluctuation of the prices in Kenya occasioned by surpluses.
In an exclusive interview with Baraka FM during the stakeholders meeting in Nairobi, Potato Council chair Prof John Nderitu said that there is a potential market of the commodity, especially in the  East African region in countries like Southern Sudan, Burundi, Tanzania and Rwanda which is supposed to be exploited with exports from Kenya.
“We want to sell to countries in the East African region which are deficient of the commodity, including Sudan. There is a big market in Southern Sudan especially in urban areas.”Nderitu said
However, he said that lack of seedlings of the commodity has hampered the rate of potato production whereby the seedlings available stands at three percent instead of the required 10 percent.
Currently, we have only three percent of seed we require in this country. That is the biggest challenge we have.” added.
Nderitu pointed that out of 47 counties, only 13 counties are producing potatoes adding that the council in partnership with the government are pushing for the commodity’s production to pick in other counties.
Consequently, he said that the sector is contending with the disorganized market which keeps on fluctuating which is occasioned by market pressures thus affecting the farmers.