Potato Production In Kenya
Potato is the second most important food crop after maize in Kenya. Its production has also increased during last few years. Potato production in Kenya in 2004 was 1,084,412 tons, while in 2013 the production reached 2,500,000 tons. The yield of potatoes rose up to 185,185.19 kg per hectare in 2013 from 61,769.91 kg per hectare in 2000. The main area of potato farming in Kenya is in the highlands of the Central, Eastern and Rift Valley regions and on the slopes of Mount Kenya. Mount Elgon in Western Kenya is also prominent production area.
Potato Farming In Kenya
In Kenya, the potato is mostly cultivated by smallholders. According to the National Potato Council of Kenya, there are 800,000 potato growers in the country. For the estimated 158,000 hectares potato cultivated land, about 83% belongs to smallholders who engage in 0.2 to 0.4 hectares, and the rest belongs to larger-scale farmers who engage in 2-10 hectares.
Potatoes Suitable for Chips Business in Kenya
Potato crisps are a major snack food in Kenya. As the survey mentioned above indicated, the varieties suitable for processing into potato crisps are Dutch Robjin, Tigoni, Kenya Baraka and the clones 393371.58, 392657.8, 391691.96 and 393385.39 as they have desired physical characteristics with low levels of reducing sugars. Among them, Dutch Robjin is currently used mostly, while the high yielding Variety Tigoni can produce equally good quality crisps. And the clones 391691.96 and 393385.39 were comparable to Dutch Robjin.
High Profit of Potato Crisps Kenya
The Kenya National Farmers’ Federation (KENAFF) has organized groups of 20 farmers to process potato crisps. They buy a bag of potatoes at Ksh 2,500 ($ 29.41) and cut, dry, fry and sell each packet of crisps at Ksh 20 ($ 0.24). Each bag of potatoes generates Ksh 6,600 ($ 77.65), a profit of Ksh 4,100 ($ 48). By using potato crisps making machine in Kenya, you can supply larger markets with high-quality chips.
A survey conducted in the year 2009-2010 indicated that there are totally 24 brands of crisps available in Kenya. About 90% of crisps processors were small and medium enterprises. About 64% identified the main constraints as lack of suitable potatoes and due to poor quality, 43% indicated finance shortage to increase production volume, while about 4% as lack of proper equipment and market.