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.
Irish potatoes are currently retailing the highest in Meru at 3,800 shillings per 50kg bag, translating to an average of 76 shillings a kilo.
This is against the national average of 66.31 shillings per kilogram.
Kisumu also records the second highest price of 3,400 shillings per 50-kilogram bag whereas in Mombasa, it retails at 3,300 shillings.
Irish potatoes have recorded the lowest price in Eldoret with 50-kilogram selling at 2,400 shillings.
The rise in prices across the different towns, except Eldoret, has been attributed to the steady demand. This growth is driven in part by rising demand from the fast-food industry and for processing into high-value products.
Nevertheless, 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 is high due to ample rains, is proving difficult to offset partly due to the impact of Covid-19, as farmers struggle to find a market.
Sweet potatoes, on the other hand 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.
The commodity is 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.
Meanwhile, the potato value chain remains long and elaborate with many business opportunities. While the opportunities could be lucrative, they are not fully taken up by youth and women.
This is partly because of their lack of awareness of these opportunities and in some cases, it is because they lack the necessary skills. Sometimes it’s because they do not have sufficient capital to start and manage the chain.
It is for this reason that various entities convened the first Nyandarua Potato Value Chain Youth Forum to address the challenges faced by youth and women in participating fully in the potato value chain not only in the county but nationally.
The initiative was organized by the Agriculture Sector Network (ASNET), Alternatives Africa, Centre for African Bio-Entrepreneurship (CABE), County Government of Nyandarua, Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), NPCK, and Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR).
The organizations present showcased and discussed the available business opportunities that the youths can easily engage in and be supported.
They include seed multiplication, ware potato aggregation, spray service providers (SSP) through the Viazi Soko Digital Platform, fertilizer and agrochemical order aggregation, logistic services, provision of mechanization services, and agro-processing.