The county government of Nyandarua has signed a MoU with the Irish government to build value chain capacity for Irish potatoes.
Speaking on Wednesday during the signing at Ol Kalou Stadium, Ireland’s minister for state for public works and flood relief Kevin Boxer said the deal aims to increase the scale and quality of potato production in Kenya.
This will then improve food security which is one of the big four transformation agenda for President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The minister said that 800,000 small holding farmers across Kenya grow potatoes, employing 2.7 million people along the market chain, and contribute over Sh50 billion to the Kenyan economy.
The project will be a key driver of a shared interest between Ireland and Kenya agri-food strategy 2017-2021. It will help farmers increase yields and revenue through training on good agricultural practices, access to affordable satisfied potato seeds, and market for the produce.
Irish Aid and IFDC will coordinate the project and oversee capacity building among farmers.
Governor Francis Kimemia said the agreement will go a long way in eliminating the cartels in the potato sector.
“We want to do away with the middle men who come to exploit the farmers in the county”, he said. Kimema said the county government will work with the national government in establishing a Sh2 billion potato processing plant in the county.
The signing was also by Richard Lesiyampe, Principal Secretary for Agriculture and Ireland’s Ambassador to Kenya Vincent O’Neill.