The Kenyan government is in the process of setting up two potato cold storage facilities, striving to reduce post-harvest losses in the agriculture sub-sector. The two facilities are under construction in Meru and Nyandarua counties.
Micro and Small Enterprise Authority Board Chairman Charles Waithaka says the Meru facility will be ready for by end of February. “The facility will have a capacity of 300 pallets of packed potatoes. The purpose is to safeguard against post-harvest losses around Timau and ensure produce do not go to waste. Every time we have had excess harvest we have lost a lot of potatoes.” The facility will also open up the region to processing through provision of high quality varieties that will boost production.
“It is a fact from statistics that at least 33.3% of the annual potato harvest is lost at the post-harvest harvest level. Within the Big 4 Agenda, this is a strategic investment by the government to reduce losses incurred by farmers, assist in stabilizing the prices and to form the foundation for value addition,” Henry Rithaa, MSEA Chief Executive Officer, told kbc.co.ke.
Rithaa called on farmers in potato growing regions to join hands and form cooperatives in order to attract private investment in the value chain.
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