Potato farming in Kenya the definitive guide

This is the potato farming in Kenya definitive guide with all information and answers to guide you on potato farming in Kenya. Be it you want to start commercial potato farming or potato farming for domestic purpose this guide is prepared specifically for you. Before venturing into potato farming in Kenya there are some of the questions you have been asking yourself we intend to answer all of these questions on this guide; Potato farming in Kenya the definitive guide

  • Areas where potato farming is done in Kenya?
  • How many bags of potatoes can one acre of land produce?
  • How to start a potato farm
  • How profitable is potato farming in Kenya
  • Potato pests and diseases in Kenya
  • What is the best fertilizer for potato farming?
  • Which is the best month for growing potatoes
  • How long does it take for potatoes to mature
  • Potato seed rate per acre in Kenya
  • What is the market for potatoes in Kenya
  • Potato varieties in Kenya shangi

HOW TO GROW POTATOS IN KENYA

PLANTING

Potato is a tuber crop native to Americans and grown in Kenya mainly for commercial and domestic consuming. The main variety of potatoes grown in Kenya is the Irish potato and we shall skip directly to its ecological requirements. Potatoes requires a well-drained fertile soil with PH of about 5 to 6.5. Impermeable soil or land greatly affect the production of potatoes. Potatoes requires average temperatures this is to help in tuber development. Delayed tuber formation is normally due to higher temperatures. Potatoes growing requires regions that receive regular rainfall of 840 to 1400 mm per annum

POTATO SEED SELECTION

Potatoes are normally planted from their seeds and great seed selection leads to great yields. Factors you should consider for the best seeds election here:

  • Yield potential of the potato
  • Maturity period of potato
  • Pest and disease tolerance
  • Tuber characteristics
  • Intended purpose of the produce commercial or subsistence farming

The potato varieties include; Tigoni, Shangi, Kenya karibu, Kenya Mpya, Sherekea, Ambition, Laura, Lady Amarilla, Derby, Markies, Sagitta, Saviola, Musica, Royal, Jelly, Faluka, Purple gold, Challenger, Evora, Panamera, Rodeo, Sifra, Konjo, Carolus, Zafira, Milva and Mayan Gold.

The land to be planted to should be ploughed and harrowed so as to bring the soil to fine tilt and to avoid hardpans which may hinder the growth of potatoes and the tuber development

Make ridges on the land uniformly in rows and add farmyard manure or DAP fertilizer. Before adding your potato seeds on the ridges ensure the area has moist soil and not waterlogged. Potato seeds should be placed in spacing of 12 inches apart or 30 cm and soil covered up to 3 inches

Spacing of ridges in rows or columns should be 75cm from 1 ridge

Germination of potatoes continues from up to 27 days where earthing up is done.

This is the mounding of soil to the main stem of potatoes. This helps to maintain the potatoes in upright posture and prevent infestation of pests and diseases. It also prevents growth of weeds.

After earthing, regular farm practices continues as you wait for maturity

Soil conditioning: This is done by application of manure to the soil this is done in moderation too much nutrients or too little nutrients may damage your potato plantation

Weeding: this is the removal of unwanted plants on the area where you may have grown your potatoes. Weeds harm the proper growth of the potatoes

Monitoring: this is done by frequently checking for pest and diseases. Some pests may invest in potatoes making it necessary for integration of pest management practices

By following this practices within a matter of weeks your potatoes should be growing vigorously and rapidly you will even notice flowering.

HARVESTING OF POTATOES
when the potato leaves turn yellowish or wilt this is at around 90 days, it’s now maturity period and it is important to note that there is different maturity period for different varieties. To facilitate proper harvesting of potatoes, spines should be cut off from the tubers 1 week before harvesting. Harvesting using a folk jembe is done and in a dry day with no rainfall. Avoid injuries to the potatoes while harvesting to maximize your production.

MARKETTING

After successfully harvesting your potatoes you are now ready for marketing after storage in sacks or crates. Potatoes are sold in kilograms to various market around Kenya

An acre of potatoes can produce up to 80 bags of potatoes in 90 days and 1 bag can cost up to 4000kshs shillings which varies according to time and availability. This should proof how profitable is potato farming in Kenya.

There is always ready market for your potatoes in Kenya you can market potatoes in schools and institutions, fast food chains, hotels and open air markets.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON POTATO FARMING

  • Areas where potato farming is done in Kenya?

The main potato producing areas in Kenya include; Nyandarua, Nakuru, Elgeyo Marakwet, Meru, Nyeri, Kiambu, Taita Taveta, Narok, Bomet, Trans Nzoia, Bungoma, Uasin Gishu, West Pokot, Kisii, Nyamira, Kirinyaga, Murang’a, Baringo, Nandi, Laikipia and Kericho.

  • How many bags of potatoes can one acre of land produce?

An acre of potatoes can produce up to 80 bags of potatoes in 90 days and 1 bag can cost up to 4000kshs shillings which varies according to time and availability. This should proof how profitable is potato farming in Kenya.

  • Potato pests and diseases in Kenya

PESTS

Tuber moths, aphids, whiteflies, leaf miners, Root knot nematodes

DISEASES

Blight, bacterial wilt, potato leaf roll, fusarium wilt

  • What is the best fertilizer for potato farming?

The best fertilizers for potatoes that I recommend is usually farmyard or organic manure likewise you can use DAP if you lack these.

  • Which is the best month for growing potatoes

The best month for growing potatoes in Kenya in my opinion is the month of November or December so that one can harvest in February or march when prices are high and also demand higher.

  • Potato seed rate per acre in Kenya

Seed tubers measuring 24-45mm in diameter with four to five sprouts each at a rate of 10 to 12 bags of 50 kilos each is suitable to plant per acre.

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One thought on “Potato farming in Kenya the definitive guide

  1. Thanks a lot for the Insight on peas and potato farming. This is welcome noting that you have done it generously.
    I hope that the guidelines you have given for snow pea farming, is similar to that of garden peas (English peas) farming.

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