The County Government of Uasin Gishu is working with the private sector to encourage and support both small and large-scale farmers to venture into potato production for profitability.

According to Agriculture Chief Officer Elias Kesio, the soil in Uasin Gishu is favourable for potato farming yet many farmers have not embraced it.

Speaking on Thursday in Mau Narok, Nakuru County as he accompanied farmers on a visit to Freshcrop Limited, Kesio said there is an increasing demand for snacks and fast foods such as crisps and chips.

The demand for potato products has gone up, we want to support our farmers to venture into potato farming and do value addition. I call upon youths to consider potato farming for diversification and as a way of economic empowerment” , Kesio. added.

Livestock Chief Officer Nixon Cheplong affirmed that plans are underway to equip agricultural extension officers working with smallholder farmers to train them on modern farming practices that will mitigate against risks associated with drought, floods, and other effects of climate change.

During the field trip, farmers visited Freshcrop Limited, one of Kenya’s largest producers of Certified seed tuber who also specialize in comprehensive Potato Value Chain Management from tissue culture to consumption through the empowerment and education of farmers

While addressing the farmers, FreshCrop founder and CEO Mr. Chris Gasperi said Freshcrop has revolutionized the potato value chain from tissue culture to consumer products. They also practice of climate-smart agricultural practices and the utilization of appropriate agro-technology.

Mr. Gasperi said FreshCrop has signed an agreement with Solynta, a hybrid potato breeding technology company from The Netherlands to partner in the development of hybrid true potato innovation in Kenya.

On his part Solynta Hybrid True potato seed for Africa Mr. Gerrit Jan Scheper said through the agreement between Freshcrop Limited and Solynta, the companies will work closely to facilitate the future introduction of high-quality hybrid potato seed tubers produced from hybrid true potato seeds.

Directors Reuben Seroney (Agriculture) Dr. Philip Biama (Veterinary), Abraham Kiptanui (Livestock), and KCSAP project coordinator Mr Cosmas Lang’at were present during the visit.