Frequently asked
questions

Can I come and visit your farm?
We love sharing our knowledge and experience on potato farming with you. However, since we are a seed production farm, we operate under strict quarantine measures and can’t allow visitors to our farm. Under training you can find all our training videos. You can also have a look at our Calendar to see where in the country we will be training farmers next   

Can you come and do trial sites / demos in my farm?
We work with farmer groups, producer organizations or cooperatives, so that we can reach many more farmers at once. We usually also include other partners in the value chain (like fertilizer & crop protection companies) so that we join forces and are sure we set up a successful demo site. See our calendar for all upcoming training sessions.

Do you breed Variety x ?
We only focus on multiplication & sales of Agrico varieties, with which Kenyan smallholders have been achieving fantastic results. Read more about in this business-case.

Can I recycle the seeds?
There are 3 major reasons why farmers should NOT recycle their seeds:

  1. Reduced income
  2. Risk of diseases
  3. Plant Breeders Right

1. From experience, we have seen when farmers recycle their seeds that yields drop and as a result net income also drop. When you plant certified seed and follow good agronomical practices, you are likely to get a high yield and sustainable income as a result. Read the case study.

2. When you plant certified potato seeds in your farm, they are disease free and come with a KEPHIS label to indicate the same. Sadly there is a high prevalence of soil-borne and bacterial seed-borne diseases (both viral and fungal) in Kenya. So there is a good chance of your seed picking up a disease from your land, or throughout the growing cycle, and your harvested potatoes will then be inclusive of diseased material. When you plant diseased material, you will stand the chance of spreading disease across your farm, and will experience great loss of yields, not to mention you may contaminate your soils for eternity.

3. All Agrico varieties are protected under the Plant Breeders Rights, meaning that to be allowed to propagate the seeds and sell them as seed, it is a legal requirement that you pay licensing fee (or royalties) to Agrico BV The Netherlands, who are the owner of the varieties. Going against this is illegal, does not respect intellectual property rights, and will be reported to KEPHIS for immediate intervention. Agrico PSA is the only organisation in Kenya authorised by Agrico BV to multiply and commercialise its varieties.

Does Agrico contract farmers for seed production?
Agrico Potato Services Africa Limited is the exclusive agent to multiply Agrico seed varieties in Kenya. We do not contract farmers to multiply seeds for us, but do everything ourselves.

Can Agrico buy the potatoes from me after growing them?
Our core business is in seed production, we are not potato buyers. We do encourage farmers to acquire access to markets early enough during the seed acquisition and potato growing process. As Agrico PSA, we can assist with market linkage for farmers who buy certified seeds from us.

Why can’t I buy the seeds anywhere else?
Potatoes are not a dry seed like maize, but they are a ‘wet’ seed, they are perishable and a very sensitive seed. Potato seeds need to be kept in a special store where both temperature, humidity and ventilation (air circulation) can be controlled. Such kind of ventilated cold stores are still rare in Kenya.
To ensure farmers get the best quality seeds possible, we therefore prefer to sell the seeds directly to farmers from our own specialized cold store.
We also recommend farmers to plant the seeds within a few days (max. 5 days) after collection of the seed from the farm.

What colour flowers do your potatoes produce?
An interesting observation from the fields is that most of our varieties do not flower in Kenya. Is that a problem? No.
Although flowering can help to identify different potato varieties and usually happens at tuber formation stage, no flowers does not mean no tubers.
If you have doubts, try and carefully dig up one of your potatoes at the time when they are supposed to flower, and observe tuber formation taking place.

Are your potatoes GMO?
No, we do not deal in GMO (genetically modified or engineered) potatoes. In Kenya, this is forbidden by law and we are a law-abiding company.

How do you calculate your potato yields / acre when doing a test-harvest?
Before harvesting, you can do a trial harvest to see how many tubers there are on a single plant and estimate the yield per plant. You dig up 1 plant and measure the total sellable yield for 1 plant, let's say it has 10 big tubers of estimated 150 grams each. Then 1 plant has 1.5kgs of yields on it. Maybe the next plant has 13 tubers, then it will give you 1.95kgs / plant.
Measure another 10 or 20 plants (depending on the size of your shamba), and take the average of all the plants yield, for example a 1.6kgs average yield per plant. Then multiply this by your plant population / acre, which should be about 15,000 – 20,000 tubers / acre (depending on planting distance and land area).
So in this example, you multiply 1.6kgs with 15,000 plants / acre = expected yield of 24,000 kgs / acre or 24 tons / acre.
If your germination was below 95%, you need to adjust the plant population accordingly. Let’s say a germination of 90% would mean an adjusted expected yield of (24 * 0.9=) 21.6 tons / acre

Where can I buy the bags for packing potatoes?
• RaiPly in Eldoret (KES 18,500 for 500 bags) 0721 900 051 or 0733 633 811

Where can i hire machines?
There are a few companies who are now offering mechanization solutions here in Kenya, and will come to the farm at a fixed fee to work your land.
If farmers can group themselves together, they can combine acreage and take advantage of reduced costs to prep land, plant, and harvest potatoes. 

  • Tinga (several places across the country) – contact Audrey in Naivasha on 0705779044 or email businessdevelopment@e-tinga.com
  • Toyota Tsusho (several places across the country) - Henry Kimathi on 0706 515 708
  • Hello Tractor (Uber model for mechanisatio) – Kenneth Mwangi on 0721396006 or email Kenneth@hellotractor.com
  • Nyandarua Agricultural Machinery Services centre (Nyandarua) – Kageche on 0721 523 227
  • North Rift Agricultural Machinery Services centre (Eldoret) – Micah Terer on 0721 359 434 or David Kibor on 0728 066 177
  • AgriMech Dr. Pascal Kaumbutho (Meru region) - 0722 308 33  or email pascalgk@agrimechafrica.co.ke
  • Jimmy in Nanyuki (tractors for hire) on 0720 758 322

Where can I get my soils tested?
Agrico PSA does not offer soil testing services; this is being offered by some of our partners in the value chain and we can recommend you get in touch with them:

  • CropNuts HQ - 0720 639 933
  • Tea Research in Kericho, Dr Sitienei Kibet- 0723847454
  • AgriVijana (presence across Nakuru County) Coordinator
    Molo region: Patrick Mutai0727 633 205 or 0734 872 102
    Nakuru – Keringet region: Brian Rotich – 0728 804 943
  • SoilCares HQ 0728 970 137 or 0795 213 808

Other questions? Feel free to contact us! 

Contact PSA