One of the most profitable businesses you can start right now is a potato growing in Kenya. Whether you are a novice or an experienced potato farmer, I have put together this comprehensive handbook to help you become a better farmer.
Read also: How To Make Money Through Farming In Kenya.
Tips For Growing Potatoes In Kenya
This article contains every piece of advice a potato grower might require. Remember that to maximize your revenues, you must know necessary to improve your competence. Let’s talk specifics.
• Select the ideal farmland.
Finding land in a high-production area is the first step in starting a successful potato farming operation in Kenya.
In most of Kenya’s major cities, including Molo, Kinangop, Taita Hills, Yatta, Timboroa, and parts of Laikipia, potatoes are a highland crop that thrives.
Recall the following when selecting land for potato farming:
- Avoid properties having a history of poor potato production.
- Avoid terrain near rivers if you want to prevent frostbite.
- It shouldn’t be more than 1-2 kilometers from the tarmac.
- Select one with reddish-brown dirt.
Getting the Land Ready for Potato Farming
- The seed is used to cultivate potatoes. 200–250 maunds of well-decomposed farmyard manure per acre should be incorporated into the soil before field preparation.
- The field is drenched about two weeks before sowing to give seed tubers enough moisture for germination.
- Good water penetration and aeration are necessary for maximum development and tuber output.
- Excessive tillage and ground preparation lead to compaction, which should be avoided.
- Before planting, the normal root zone soil should be plowed beneath any compacted layer and then disk harrowed for best results.
- Spike-tooth harrowing may be necessary to level the soil and break up clods right before planting.
Purchase of Potato Seeds in Kenya
The best seeds with a high potential for yield are required if you want the best crop.
- Buying only certified seeds is advised.
- To find out which breeds do well in the region, speak with nearby farmers.
Examples of potato breeds include Tigoni, Kenya Mpya, Asante, and Shangi.
Planting And Harvesting Potatoes Since potatoes develop in Kenya after about 90 days, potato farming is a more lucrative industry. But before the crop reaches maturity, there are several tasks you must complete to reap a successful crop.
Application of fertilizer, weeding, irrigation, management of pests and diseases, and harvesting are all involved.
What Is The Best Fertilizer In Kenya For Potatoes?
Keep in mind that after harvesting, you must keep the potatoes in a dark, dry area to avoid greening. Potatoes are perishable goods, therefore you should find a market for your supply as soon as you can.
Therefore, if you’re farming potatoes in Kenya, you need to know how to perform these things well. Communicating with other prosperous potato growers can be a terrific way to advance your success.
In Kenya, the price of planting potatoes
An acre of potatoes will cost about Ksh. 80,000 to plant and harvest. Among other potato cultivation costs, this cost includes fertilizer, weeding, pest management, disease control, and harvesting costs.
Let’s examine the potential profits using this investment. Remember that your choice of potato variety will affect your profitability.
Currently, a bag of Shangi potatoes sells for Ksh4,000. One acre of land might produce 80 bags of potatoes in three months.
According to the National Potato Council of Kenya’s guidelines, a potato sack should weigh 110Kg.
Read also: Avocado Farming In Kenya
So let’s start with the math:
Gross Sales of Potatoes
After selling your produce at the going rate on the market, you can expect to receive this sum of money.
80 bags at Ksh4,000 is Ksh320,000.
Profit from potatoes
After deducting all of your costs, this is your profit.
Revenue of Ksh320,000 fewer expenses of Ksh80,000 equals Ksh240,000.
Seven Pointers For Kenyan Potato Farming Success
- Plant certified potato seed in your soil.
When you plant a seed potato, you are planting a potato that the plant produced the year before. Any ailments or pests that the mother plant may have had been passed on to the seed potato. You can be sure you’re starting with potatoes free of illness when you sow certified seed potatoes.
- You should chit your potatoes. You can give your potato seeds a head start by pre-sprouting or chitting them before you plant them in the ground.
- Grow under the sun’s direct rays. Your potatoes should be planted in acidic, well-drained soil with 6–8 hours each day of full light.
- Potatoes like cooler temperatures. In Kenya, potato farming should be done during the wetter months. Potato cultivation is aided by the free availability of water and cooling impact. Every week, water the potato bed by 1-2 inches to maintain a constant moisture level (2.5-5 cm).
- Always Cover The Tubers. Cover your potatoes with soil or heavily mulch them to block out all light to prevent the growth of green skin.
- Before storing the potatoes, let them reach full maturity. You can begin harvesting new potatoes as needed for meals once the plants bloom. If you are producing potatoes for storage, let the tubers develop in the ground. Unwashed potatoes should be cured before being stored to allow the skins to thicken and heal. Cured tubers should be kept in closed boxes or containers with air apertures in a dark environment. At 32 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 80 to 90 percent relative humidity, potatoes should be kept in storage.
- Rotate your potato crop for healthy soil.
In the garden, potato growing should alternate every three years. This means that for the next three to four years, you shouldn’t plant potatoes in the same spot again.
Please don’t forget to share this useful article on potato farming in Kenya.