Combating a triple threat to Kenya’s food security

Pile of potatos

Over 800,000 Kenyan farmers grow potatoes, and an estimated 2.5 million others are employed at various level of the value chain.  Despite its economic potential however, potato yields have continued to decline.

Climate change, unsustainable farming practices, and increased food prices due to supply chain disruptions caused by Covid-19 form a deadly combination that will exacerbate food insecurity in Kenya.

Changes in weather seasons, high frequency of extreme events such as floods, droughts, disease infestation and pest invasions like the desert locusts and army worms, are crippling the ability of most Kenyans to feed themselves.

Potato, one of Kenya’s most important food crop generates considerable employment in production, marketing, and processing sectors. Despite its economic potential however, potato yields have continued to decline as a result of erratic rains, floods, droughts and soil infertility. The current average yield is approximately 8 tons per hectare which is significantly lower than other African and global benchmarks (20-40 tons/ ha), reducing smallholders profitability and industry competitiveness.

To address these challenges the Climate Resilient Agribusiness for Tomorrow (CRAFT) project has partnered with private sector actors in the potato value chain, and government institutions; to review and develop crop specific climate smart training manuals and aids that will be used by extension service providers and farmers. The interventions will be driven by private sector actors that the project will support to provide certified short cycle potato seed suitable to the farmers in different agroecological zones as well as auxiliary services such as soil testing, mechanization in soil tillage technology to protect soil structure/quality and training on appropriate, good agriculture practices. Read the full story article in the People Daily Online and in Print

Download the Kenya Potato Climate Risk Assessment

For more about the CRAFT project