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Can Kenya fix the potato value chain?

January 10 2022
News image of the African potato platform

There was a public outcry last week against the American fast-food franchise Kentucky Fries and Chicken (KFC).

The furore that was channelled through social media, with the hashtag BoycottKFC trending on Twitter, was inflamed by a KFC tweet on Monday that it had run out of potato chips.

‘Insensitive’ is the word that the Governor of Nyandarua County Francis Kimemia used to describe the statement by KFC. This is because thousands of farmers continue to struggle with an oversupply of potatoes.

Not that the government has been sensitive to the plight of the potato farmer, with potato productivity negatively impacted by low availability of certified seed, persistent use of older varieties, poor soil fertility, high pest and disease incidence, and low knowledge levels of good agricultural practices, according to a World Bank report that was published in January last year.

The KFC crisis offers Kenya an opportunity to reflect, not only on what has bedeviled this strategic food, but also how to fix its supply chain that makes it difficult for the country to produce the in-demand potato used by KFC and many other global fast-food giants to prepare fries.

Read the full article here.


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