Irish potatoes are an important food crop in Kenya, with production volumes only second to maize. Potatoes are produced in the cool highlands mostly by small scale farmers under rain-fed conditions. The soils in these areas are generally acidic and of low fertility due to anthropogenic activities. The national production is far below the potential, largely due to limited use of certified seeds, low application of fertilizers and other organic amendments, and low use of fungicides and other production chemicals. Marketing problems bedeviling potato industry include lack of organized channels in which farmers have no power. The channel is controlled by cartels, which shield producers from receiving any market information. There is a lot of handling and in the process the producer’s share in the final price of the commodity is minimal. Transport of potatoes to the market is expensive due to poor road infrastructure in the producing area. Seasonality in production and lack of on-farm ware potato storage lead to minimal returns to farmers.
Key words: Irish potatoes, production, marketing, constraints.
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