The demand for potatoes in Kenya has been growing steadily. This growth is driven in part by rising demand from the fast-food industry and for processing into high-value products.
But in the last 6 months, prices of potatoes have dropped in most parts of the country with a 50-kilogram bag averagely retailing at 3,800 shillings. The output, which high due to ample rains, is proving difficult to offset partly due to the impact of Covis-19 as farmers struggle to find a market.
A 50-kilogram bag of Irish potatoes is retailing highest in Meru at a price of 3,800 shillings while it is going for 3,300 shilling in Mombasa.
In other market like Kisumu, a 50-kilogram bag of Irish potatoes is retailing at 3,400 shillings while in Nairobi, it is retailing at 3,200 shillings. Eldoret has the lowest price with 50-kilogram retailing at 2,400 shillings.
Sweet Potatoes are currently retailing lowest in Kakamega where a 90-kilogram bag is being sold at 6,000 shillings and highest in Nairobi where a bag is going for 4,600 shillings. In Eldoret, a 90 bag of sweet potatoes is retailing at 3,200 while in Nakuru and Kisumu it is going for 3,400 shillings
Sweet potato production is ramping up in Kenya as more farmers across the country embrace the root crop. Most Kenyan Consumers still prefer the widely grown yellow-fleshed sweet potatoes.
Although the orange-fleshed sweet potatoes varieties are coming up fast, it is estimated that more than 90 percent of the sweet potatoes consumed in Kenya are still yellow-fleshed. They therefore still remain the most viable potato variety in Kenya.