Plans have been set in motion by the National Potato Council of Kenya, partnering with Corteva Agriscience, to increase the yield among smallholder farmers from 7 to 20 tons per hectare.
The partnership targets to introduce new technologies and train smallholder farmers on how to improve potato yields through the use of quality seeds, resilient and improved varieties, pest and disease management, post-harvest management, and record-keeping. Already, seven demonstration plots have been set up in potato growing regions of Kinangop, Olkalau, Mau Narok, Bomet Central, Kieni East, Kieni West, and Ainabkoi sub-counties.
Corteva Agriscience Sales Leader EA Francis Karanja told kbc.co.ke the collaboration with the National Potato Council of Kenya meant to help farmers increase productivity and income and ensure farmers have access to best farming practices: “The products and information we share help farmers manage potato pests and diseases, incorporate the latest advances in sustainability and technology into their daily operations.”
“The technology we are bringing on board, which incorporates best agronomic practices, modern technology to provide scientific control of fungal diseases and safe use of chemicals is meant to increase the potato yields per hectare in the smallholdings significantly,’’ he added.
More than 400 farmers have been trained on recommended practices such as soil testing services, apical cuttings technology, seeds selection, and use of quality varieties/certified seeds, crop nutrition, crop protection and spray service provision.