Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia discloses deal with KFC on local potatoes
Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia has spoken out about the recent penned deal between the county and KFC boss on sourcing locally grown potatoes.
Kimemia revealed that they settled on an agreement to produce potatoes not only for the fast-food chain but also for other global markets.
The county boss disclosed that the limiting factor that had prompted KFC to consider importing the French fries from other countries was mainly due to their preferred quality standards.
“Most of the outlets prefer certain types of potatoes which we cannot really grow as a county. We agreed we can actually grow all the potatoes for you (KFC) and we can meet all requirements; health and quality,” Kimemia said in an exclusive interview with Citizen Digital.
“We will not only produce for Kenya but also for other markets such as Congo.”
Governor Kimemia spelt out that they had reached an agreement with the U.S-based company to team up and offer training to the farmers' cooperatives for them to grasp the terms of the contract.
“The issue was quality. We are putting the farmers together and we must prescribe the number of volumes and standards of the inputs, fertilizers, which chemicals are sprayed and how they are harvested,” Kimemia explained.
He added: “KFC and the county will team up to train these cooperative farmers so that they understand the basics.”
At the same time, Kimemia decried the limited farm inputs as the key shortcoming affecting most of the farmers in the sector which he said the government had resolved to chip in and pump in the capital.
“We are registering all the farmers in the country and they will be put in a digital platform where we will be able to put those in cooperative in a regime of their own and be able to support them,” stated Kimemia.
“In collaboration with the European Union, we have also been able to come up with a modern tissue culture of a laboratory where, from the leaves of the potatoes, we are able to produce clean seeds either using hydroponics or aeroponics,” he added.
Kimemia similarly assured that the deal which is slated to kick off in March would see potato markets in Kenya blossom both at the national levels and the counties.
“We will start growing potatoes in March, so by June, we will be able to supply the first crop and from there we will multiply," he said.
“Farmers will expect 100 percent increment; if as a county am getting Ksh 13 billion now, I should expect it will Ksh. 26 to 30 billion. We expect it to be a game-changer."
Even though Kimemia says not all farmers would be growing the KFC potatoes, there will be shuffling to ensure every region in the county that grows the potatoes has a share of the hybrid potatoes.
“No farmer will be left behind, there are those growing Shangi, they are equally important, there are those growing others for various usage in the county such as for production of soap or starch. We will be able to segregate the market,” he noted.
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