Agrics and Agrico: partners in potatoes
This week, Agrics' agronomist Justine and Geodatics' data expert Yilma went to Nakuru (Kenya) to pay a visit to Agrico, a Dutch organisation that sells potatoes all over the world and breeds new varieties. As mentioned in our latest news item, Agrics selected three new crops to pilot in 2018, potatoes are one of them. Justine and Yilma agreed to partner with Agrico for the coming season. The organisation will supply Agrics with three varieties of potato seeds and share their knowledge and expertise.
Destiny, Manitou and Markies are the three seed varieties that received KEPHIS certification and are suitable for planting in various parts of Kenya, both in cooler and warmer areas. In general, smallholder farmers who cultivate potatoes only harvest small quantities and of rather poor quality. With the use of certified potato seeds and good field management, the attainable yield should be around 30 t/ha, which is 4 to 5 times more than the current average yield.
Currently, most farmers use basic production and post-harvest management practices. Smallholders that join the potato pilot will receive a special training on the cultivation of potatoes. Agrico will be present too during these training, sharing their expertise, so that farmers can have maximum gain on their investment.
Justine and Yilma were shown around the Agrico warehouse in Nakuru, where potatoes are stored and packed.