Kenia: Kenya approves 13 high yielding potato seeds from Holland
The Kenyan government has approved 13 high quality and yielding potato seed varieties from Holland, to boost potato production.
An agronomist at Agrico East Africa Athanasius Kaituyu revealed that four of the top performers -which include Destiny, Manitou, Markies and Rudolph- are already in the market.
The Holland-based company has been conducting massive multiplication of the high yielding seeds at the farm at Kabarak, Nakuru County. “We have six varieties that we are producing but the national government has approved 13 seed varieties in the Kenyan market,” said Mr Kaituyu.
The official was speaking at Salgaa farm in Rongai Sub–County during a demonstration where farmers from Salgaa, Mau Narok, Njoro, Molo and Nakuru town were given tips on potato farming to boost their yields. The exercise aimed at preparing the farmers for the forthcoming contractual farming to be launched in the region.
“We teach farmers on the importance of using certified seeds, crop rotation, soil testing, planting, ridging, disease prevention and harvesting,” said Mr Kaituyu.
The official assured farmers that all their varieties have undergone performance test. “They [new varieties] were allowed in Kenya despite having local varieties like shangi and Tigoni because our yield is above 10 per cent the local varieties,” said Mr Kaituyu.
Apart from being certified seeds with high yielding record, the new varieties are resistant to drought and diseases such as potato blight. The official advised the farmers to use certified seeds and carry out soil testing if they hope to double their yields and earnings.