The government of Kenya is spearheading efforts to upgrade the status of potato as a strategic crop. The International Potato Center (known by its Spanish acronym CIP) is a key partner in this endeavor, along with local government officials, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, and international cooperation agencies. The underlying goal of this initiative is to help achieve food security in this poverty-stricken nation, and improve the livelihood of its people. The expected effect is to boost Kenya’s potato production threefold by 2012.
The potato is the second most important food crop in Kenya after maize. It is also an important source of revenue, employing more than 2.5 million people in potato farming activities across the entire production chain.
The new efforts address improved potato productions from multiple angles, ranging from public policy to better seed production and increased resistance to potato disease.