Kenya is set to benefit from a new policy shift by fast-food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), which will be barred from importing pre-sliced potatoes. This move aims to boost local capacity for farmers to supply international eateries, saving foreign exchange and promoting the country’s potato industry. This article will delve into the benefits of this policy shift for potato farmers in Kenya, highlighting how this shift will help Kenyan potato farmers by creating more demand for their produce, boosting their income, and enhancing the local potato industry.
Benefits of the Memphis Variety of Potato Seedlings for Kenyan Potato Farmers
The Memphis variety of potato seedlings, recommended by KFC, has been approved by the Kenyan Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis) and the Ministry of Agriculture. This variety is high-yielding, red-skinned with long dormancy, and is suitable for international markets due to its longer shelf life. By introducing this variety of potato seedlings to farmers in Nyandarua, Timboroa (Baringo), Molo, and Elburgon (Nakuru), KFC will be sourcing all types of potatoes from Kenya in the future. This will mean more income for farmers and savings in foreign exchange.
Kenyan Potato Farmers to Benefit from Cold Storage Facilities for Potatoes
The Ministry of Co-operatives and Small Enterprises has unveiled a Sh100 million-potato cold storage facility in Ol Kalou, Nyandarua, which will help potato farmers. President William Ruto launched this facility on April 6, 2023, three years after its construction began. This cold storage facility will help farmers store potatoes for longer periods and reduce wastage. It will also enable them to chop potatoes into sizes that KFC requires, package them, and deliver them to the fast-food chain.
Sourcing from Kenyan potato farmers
KFC had been importing pre-sliced potatoes largely from Egypt. However, due to the shortage of potatoes, the company has embarked on a journey to identify a local supplier with the processing, tracking, and cold chain management capabilities required to supply its chain with pre-sliced potatoes. KFC had insisted that local potato varieties do not meet its international standards and taste. The new policy shift will not only help KFC but also other multinational restaurant chains in Kenya.
The policy shift by KFC towards local sourcing of potatoes will be a game-changer for potato farmers in Kenya. With the introduction of the Memphis variety of potato seedlings, farmers will be able to supply international food chains like KFC. This will mean more income for farmers, savings in foreign exchange, and promotion of the country’s potato industry. Additionally, the cold storage facility in Ol Kalou will enable farmers to store potatoes for longer periods, reduce wastage, and chop potatoes into sizes that KFC requires.