Elgeyo Marakwet county has budgeted Sh15 million for establishment of a potato cooling plant to ease a marketing crisis facing farming of the crop. Governor Alex Tolgos said the cooling plant would be put up in Kapyego trading centre located about 150km from Eldoret town where most of the produce is marketed.
“I am very sorry that you are selling this full sack of potatoes produce at Sh400 only, which is throw away price... Little do you know that the same sack fetches between Sh1,500 to Sh2,000 in Eldoret town,” said the governor while speaking at Segut trading centre, where middle men come to buy the commodity from farmers.
“We shall also ensure that all the zones that produce potatoes in this county each have a cooler in future,” he added.
Farmers said the poor state of roads and lack of proper storage had put them at the mercy of brokers who are making a kill from the business. Once the cooler is set up, the farmers would have access to storage services and it would create room for value addition.