Early last year, the American fast-food chain KFC announced that it had opened its doors to Kenyan farmers to supply it with potatoes for potato chips, as long as they meet their standards. Behind the scenes a consortium was established – consisting of Co-operative Bank, Yara, Bayer East Africa, Simplifine and AgricoPSA – intending to create a nationwide sustainable potato supply chain. Last week an important milestone was achieved by signing an MoU in Nyandarua county, resulting in more Kenyan produced potato chips for KFC.
In 2022 first major steps were taken in establishing this nationwide potato value chain. This resulted in the start of producing Kenyan chips for KFC in Kenya. AgricoPSA has been playing a key role in this consortium. It supplies the prescribed potato variety Markies – Kenya’s number one potato processing variety - to farmers who are interested in supplying KFC’s processors such as Simplifine.
Since the demand for Markies has been growing rapidly, AgricoPSA has been continuously upscaling its Kenyan production. As a result, the total Kenyan potato value chain is also growing. Signing the MoU in Nyandarua county is another important milestone in establishing the nationwide sustainable potato value chain. From now onwards more Nyandaruan potato farmers will benefit from this market opportunity. By entering the consortium, potato farmers acquire access to affordable and high quality inputs, access to finance and access to sustainable markets. A win-win for all, and the largest beneficiary are the Kenyan farmers. In addition, growing Markies lowers farming risks for Kenyan potato farmers: they acquire access to two premium markets. The potato chips industry requests their large Markies potatoes and the potato crisping industry favors their smaller Markies sizes.
Over the year we expect to achieve more milestones in other potato producing counties as this one in Nyandarua and to further upscale Kenya’s potato value chain. By doing so we lower Kenya’s potato imports from countries such as Egypt and South Africa. Instead we further strengthen Kenya’s local economy, farmers & small and medium sized companies.