Kenya potato news
Providing farmers access to potato markets is one of the key foundations for any sustainable potato value chain. A nice example how this works in Kenya is illustrated by Simplifine, a new Kenyan processor.
As was reported in the Standard Media, Simplifine recently commissioned a new processing line that will expand its production of frozen fresh potatoes. The company is in need of large volumes of Markies potatoes, which will be used for processing the potatoes into fresh & frozen chips. By processing the premium potato variety Markies from Kenyan farmers, Simplifine will satisfy local and international markets. One of these is the local franchise of the American fast-food chain, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), which recently committed to start sourcing potatoes locally.
There are three main reasons why processors as Simplifine strongly prefer Markies over other varieties. First Markies is the potato variety its customer KFC demands. Next Markies’ premium characteristics results in the lowest production cost and lowest production losses (rejects) for a processor. Thus the processor is able and willing to pay higher prices for farmers for such premium potato varieties. Finally processors need to produce year round. As a result it requires potato varieties that can be stored for a longer period of time. As was explained by the CEO of National Potato Council, Markies is one of the few potato varieties in Kenya that does match the demand for long storability, while maintaining an excellent quality.
PSA has been actively supporting such local potato production and providing Kenyan farmers access to potato markets from our very beginning. We will continue to do so in the future!