Uasin Gishu Governor Jonathan Bii has challenged Ainabkoi farmers to utilize the good climatic conditions that favour the production of potatoes, to grow their economies.
Speaking on Wednesday during a visit to Ainabkoi Farmers Cooperative Society accompanied by Netherlands Deputy Ambassador to Kenya H.E Joris Bommel and the Acting CEO Warehouse Receipting System(WRS) Lucy Komet, to check on the Society’s potential of adopting WRS on matters of potatoes, the Governor said potato farming in the area is ideal noting that they should take advantage of the availability of potato seed store already set up by Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture(KCSAP).
You can get quality seeds just from here and go straight to the farm. In that case, you will be able to produce many kilograms of potatoes that will be stored in the cold room without getting spoiled as you wait for market prices to go up,” said Governor Bii.
WRS seeks to benefit farmers by reducing post-harvest losses, improving market linkages and increasing access to credit as well as creating an enabling environment for producers and traders to make and execute commercial decisions.
The Governor further said his government has allocated Ksh 100 million for the construction of an industrial park that upon completion will help in growing local entrepreneurship in manufacturing and other services, to improve the export business by small-scale enterprises.
Ambassador H.E Bommel, noted that their focus is to look at how they can improve the output put by farmers to ensure an increase in productivity, for improved food production.
The receipt program will improve the quality of your produce for good prices and the current partnership with International Finance Corporation(IFC) will also help in linking you to various markets,” noted Bommel.
According to Chris Ramos, the manager of the potato cold storage facility, the store can hold up to 50 tonnes of potatoes for at least six months.
Chairman of Ainabkoi FCS, Lucas Kessei, noted that the receipting system will be a relief to farmer members since their produce will be preserved for a while as they look for better markets.
“Generally, potato prices may shift from as low as Ksh 8 per kilogram to a maximum of Ksh sh 45 per kilogram. In this case, we will have no hurry but wait for the opportune market price,” poised Kessei.
Ainabkoi/Olare MCA Hon Gilbert Chepkonga, CECMS Martha Cheruto(Trade and Cooperatives), Edward Sawe (Agriculture) various Chief Officers and Directors were among the present.
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