The Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization has licensed Kevian Limited to commercialise five of its High yielding potato seed varieties in a long term contract.
KALRO’s Director General Eliud Kireger says the partnership aims to benefit 50,000 farmers in potato growing regions and help meet the current demand of high quality potato crop in the country.
Many multinational fast foods stores in the country have been forced to import their potato stock, as local potato breeds do not meet the required standards.
This according to the KALRO is due to recycling of poor quality potato seeds by farmers despite local breeders creating hybrid seeds.
To this end KALRO has licensed Kevian Limited to commercialize 5 of its hybrid potato seeds in a 15 years partnership that will see Kevian pay KARLO royalties at a rate 2.5 percent of their total annual sales.
To improve the potato value chain, Kevian will distribute the improved potato seeds to farmers in potato growing regions, and later on purchase the harvest from the same farmers for processing.
The government has been encouraged to come up with more public private partnerships, to link breeders with farmers to improve agricultural output in the country.
The government has been urged to step-up its efforts in enforcing the 50 kgs potato packaging laws, to protect farmers from exploitation and also reduce potato post harvest losses due to proper handling of the harvest.