Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia are currently producing some 5 million tons of potatoes; this shows that the potato is increasingly becoming one of East Africa’s food security crops.
As the importance of potato farming is increasing in these regions, a new book was released in Nairobi on the best way to grow the crop. The book is a collaboration between the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Deputy Head of mission-Head of Trade and development, Joris van Bommel and Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture, P.S. Hamadi Iddi Boga.
The 112-page book titled, Potato Signals -African edition, is designed to benefit the potato farmer in Africa and is a small handy encyclopedia on potatoes particularly in East Africa.
“The potato value chain in East Africa is not well-developed. Availability of good quality seed in the region is very limited. Farmers usually use seed tubers, either from their previous harvests or purchase seed with unknown source from local markets,” the book reads. “Often, they use the best tubers for the local market, while the low-quality tubers are maintained as starting materials for the next crop. This is a very important yield limiting factor.”