Kevian Kenya’s deal with Irish firm IPM Potato Group to produce certified potato seedlings is certainly good news for farmers who need an estimated 40,000 tonnes annually to meet their planting needs.
Indeed, the two companies say they will initially produce only 2,000 tonnes of seedlings per year. This will be a drop in the ocean.
The hope, however, is that this output will gradually increase to the optimal demand – if only because this country has for too long relied on poor quality planting materials that only produces low quality and output. It should be expected that once the company starts operations, its seedlings will improve these two key indicators and ultimately increase the farmers’ incomes by enabling them to supply high-end fast food companies in Nairobi and the region.
We urge Kevian and its partners to get it right on quality such that their seedlings will be readily acceptable to the farmers and potato buyers in Kenya and across the region, thereby firming up the rural economies of producing counties.