Articles

Purchase guarantees can boost

Prof. John Nderitu, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Linkages and Resource Mobilisation Enhancing the business relationships between farm producers and processors can go a long way in improving sustainability and profitability in the local agricultural sector. Prof. John Nderitu, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Linkages and Resource Mobilisation says local farmers can be linked sustainably with local markets by putting in place price and purchase guarantees.Recently, Prof. Nderitu, who is the Chairman of the National Potato Council attended a workshop organised by German Food Partnership and Potato Initiative Africa in Nairobi.“Price and purchase guarantees also provide smallholders with access to financing inputs and expertise,” said Prof. Nderitu,

during the forum opened by Nyandarua County Governor Daniel Waithaka.

Nyandarua County is one of the main producers of potatoes. German Food Partnership is the umbrella body of 35 German and international companies operating in agribusiness and the food industry. It was founded in 2012. On its part, the Potato Initiative Africa aims to make the potato sector in African countries competitive, enhance local added value and raise smallholder income. “Average potato yields in sub-Saharan Africa are at 3-15 tons a hectare,” Justus Bohm of the Europlant Potato Breeding Company is quoted as saying. “But 50-60 tons a hectare could be achieved.” Recently, Kenya adopted the international standard of potato packaging (use of 50kg bags), in place of the 110kgs ones (for both seed and ware) that exposed farmers to exploitation by middlemen. Local farmers were losing up to Ksh1 billion a year through this exploitation.