Nakuru county is located in the former Rift Valley Province with its largest town being Nakuru followed by Naivasha with is also a major significant urban center in the county. Nakuru county has a population of 1,6032,225 according to the 2008 census but the number has slightly increased.
The main economic activity in Nakuru County is Agriculture which has opened up many investment opportunities in the agro-processing field for investors both from within the county and outside.
Despite the huge production of potatoes in the county, farmers continue to suffer in the hands of brokers who capitalize on their ability to access direct markets for the farmers. The middlemen buy potatoes from the farmers at very cheap prices then transport them to different urban centers in the country where they sell at high prices.
The production cost of potato tends to be increasing as time goes by, thus making it hard for the farmers to get enough profits since the middle men buy at low prices and they are the ones who negotiate on the buying price for their own interests.
Investment opportunities that exist in the county include putting up of a potato processing industry, which will save the farmers from middlemen. This will see them selling their produce directly for processing purposes.
The plant will also boost use of technology in potato farming in the county. Farmers will be encouraged to use modern technology in cultivating, also, extraction of industrial starch potatoes will be done technologically.
Other activities that might take place in the processing plant include the production of flour based potato products such as cakes, bread, crisps and biscuits.
Potatoes tend to be very profitable since the waste products will not be thrown away but will still be used in making of bio fuel and brisket used in the construction of houses. Animal feeds can also be produced out of the wastes.
Other investment opportunies in the potato field include seed multiplication, manufacturing of sprayers and pesticides for potato farmers, construction of dams and boreholes that will be sources of water for irrigation and also installation of irrigation systems.
Farmers can get a chance of being trained on seed multiplication which leads to high profits from minimal capitals. This can lead to increased potato production from 10 tons to an average of 15 tons per hectare.
Apart from selling the harvested produce, the seed multiplier will open up another profitable market for selling seed and this give the farmers better returns.
Article by Vera Shawiza.