Despite its declining productivity, potato is one of the most consumed agricultural produce in Kenya falling second to maize. This is due to the rising demand from the fast food industry as urbanization in Kenya hits the roof. Shangi is the most consumed variety in Kenya beating all the other varieties in the market and has a fast maturity rate taking only 2 ½ months to fully mature. The other potatoes take approximately 3 months and above. Most of these potatoes are sourced from Molo.
Since beginning of October this year, prices of shangi potatoes have been increasing in majority of markets in Kenya. Of the five towns ( Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret and Nakuru), Kisumu recorded the highest surge which saw the prices shoot from KES 2900 to KES 4100 per 130 kg bag, a 41% increase.
It was followed by Mombasa with a 34% price increase. Nairobi and Eldoret recorded a 28% and 27% price increase respectively. Nakuru maintained stable prices which ranged between KES 2420 and KES 2528 per 130 kg bag hence only a 4% price increase.
With potato farming in Kenya being seasonal, farmers who planted during this short rain period especially in Molo and Mau Narok are yet to harvest hence the short supply in the market. Also, for those that have the potatoes faced another challenge of weather conditions in the farms. High rainfall from the collection zones inhibited flow of these potatoes from the farms to the markets hence the high fluctuating rates especially in Nairobi market. With no rains being recorded in Molo and Mau Narok the last few days, prices of these potatoes have dropped a bit with more trucks reaching the markets.
Prices of Shangi potatoes in Nairobi, 2014(130 kg bag).
In Eldoret, the trends for the potatoes have been declining in this month of November. According to the field officer in this town, majority of the potatoes supplies are done to schools and colleges around that area. Closing of these learning institutions has led to reduced flow of potatoes in Eldoret market hence pulling prices down.
Those who planted on early October are set to begin
harvesting by mid December. If favorable weather conditions for transportation
prevail, then prices of these potatoes are set drop during Christmas.
Lastly, MFarm has a stable demand for Shangi Potatoes that requires a constant supply of 45 BAGS per week with quality requirements of Large and medium potatoes only, at the ratio of 3:2 in a bag. This means, for every 3 large potatoes, there will be 2 medium potatoes. The Large potatoes will be of a minimum Length of 12 cm and 7 cm in diameter, while the medium potatoes will be of a minimum Length of 6cm and 5cm in diameter. To supply click on the button below and give us your details.