Kenya signs US $6m deal for a potato cooling plant

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The government of Kenya has signed a US $6m deal with BASF, one of the world’s leading chemical companies and IPR Consulting Establishment to develop a potato cooling plant in Ol’Kalou area, Nyandarua county.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia said the establishment of the facility is aimed at reducing post-harvesting losses in the region. The cold storage warehouse will be part of an Agri-Hub that will also comprise agricultural production and a fruit and vegetable processing facility.

“Farmers in the region would be able to store their produce in a state-of-the-art cold storage facility. We do not have even a single cooling facility for our potatoes and hence a lot of the produce goes to waste when there is potato glut. We appreciate the new initiative by our partners,” said Governor Kimemia.

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Potato yield in Kenya

Energy requirements for the Agri-Hub will be provided by a solar energy generator, with battery storage from BASF’s New Business division. BASF Vice-President for Africa Michael Gotsche, who led the delegation, said the construction work for the Agri-Hub project would commence in October.

Nyandarua produces between 33 and 35% of total potato yield in the country.
The county requires between 80 to 100 tonnes of potato seeds annually, a capacity within the potato seed multiplication programme, which comes with a seeds storage section is struggling to meet currently. The new development, according to Kimemia would go a long way in boosting the potato farming in the country.