The partnership will support farmers to enhance yield of potatoes from seven tonnes to 20 tonnes per hectare
Pure-play agriculture company Corteva Agriscience has collaborated with the National Potato Council of Kenya to enhance potato yields for farmers in Kenya.
The collaboration will focus on the introduction of advanced technologies, in addition to assisting farmers to improve potato yields by adopting crop protection solutions, quality seed, resilient and improved varieties, pest and disease management, good hilling technologies, post-harvest management and record keeping.
The partnership will offer critical field activities such as seed distribution, creation of demonstration plots, field crop management, and training of host farmers and farmer group representatives at the demonstration plots in potato growing regions in the country where farmers have minimum extension services and poor access to markets.
Seven demonstration plots have been established in Kinangop, Olkalau, Mau Narok, Bomet Central, Kieni East, Kieni West and Ainabkoi sub-counties in Kenya, since April this year.
More than 400 farmers were provided training on recommended practices such as soil testing services, apical cuttings technology, seeds selection and use of quality varieties/certified seeds, crop nutrition, crop protection and spray service provision.
According to the Potato Council of Kenya, pests and diseases contribute to an approximated 80% reduction in production which disturbs improved seed availability and food security.
The potato sector contributes about $30m per annum to the Kenyan economy
The potato sector, which contributes around $30m per annum to the Kenyan economy, employs around 3.3 million people of which up to 800,000 are smallholder farmers.
In June this year, Corteva Agriscience revealed its 10-year commitments to promote sustainability and enhance agricultural resiliency across the global food system.
Corteva Agriscience East Africa crop protection sales leader Francis Karanja said: “Corteva Agriscience is collaborating to help increase the productivity, incomes, and sustainable farming practices of smallholder farmers.
“The products and information we share helps farmers manage potato pests and diseases, incorporate the latest advances in sustainability and technology into their daily operations.”
Recently, Corteva Agriscience, along with Land O’Lakes Venture37, has created an alliance to address dairy shortages in Kenya.