The Nakuru County government has announced plans to build a Ksh117 million ultra-modern storage facility for potatoes in Muchorwe, Molo Constituency.
The facility, according to governor Lee Kinyanjui, will save the farmers from losses experienced every year after harvest, estimated to be well over Ksh3 billion.
Nakuru is the second largest potato producer in the country, after the neighbouring Nyandarua County.
“The Ksh117 million structure will store at least four million kilogrammes of potatoes, which will help provide a timely market and better prices for farmers. The aim of the cold storage is to eventually eliminate brokers and avoid post-harvest losses,” said Agriculture Chief Officer Kibet Maina.
The project will be undertaken through World Bank-funded project dubbed National Agricultural Rural Inclusive and Growth Project (NARIGP).
The facility will prolong the shelf life of the harvest by between three to six months and also maintain consistency in quality.
The county produces between eight and 10 tonnes per hectare, with a potential of producing 25 tonnes per hectare.
“It is possible to more than double the productivity by using good agricultural practices such as the growing of certified seed potato. The county seeks to invest in storage facilities across the region where a farmer can keep his potatoes for over four months until prices stabilise,” stated Mr Maina.
The Nation reports that the construction of the storage facility will kick off in January.