Potato farming in Kenya is one of the most lucrative businesses you can venture into since there is a ready market for the potatoes. Besides, Shangi potatoes are very prolific.After maize, potatoes are Kenya’s second most important food crop. It appeals to both small and large businesses because of its nutritious tubers, which can be sold locally and internationally. Some growers specialize in the production and distribution of certified potato seeds.
Shangi potato farming in Kenya is extremely popular, with yields that are somewhat high. Although this is a versatile potato type, it does fall apart when boiled, limiting its utility in several cooking applications.
Is potato farming profitable in Kenya?
Yes. Planting shangi potatoes in one acre can yield a net profit of KES 105,610. It is after deducting KES 16790 in additional or other charges. Crop insurance, field visits, transportation charges, and other contingency costs and errors are all included.
In Kenya, potato growing is quite profitable. According to this calculation, one acre will yield a gross profit of KES 122,400. It is calculated after deducting total crop expenditures of KES 127,600 from total revenues of KES 250,000.Shangi Potato Yield Per Acre The potato yield per acre is predicted to change from 30,000 to 40,000 kg per acre. However, for the purposes of this analysis, a conservative 25% production efficiency (or 10 tons) will be used (10,000 kg). In Kenya, an acre of Irish potatoes can yield 200 bags of 50 kg each.
Income From One Acre of Shangi Potato
In one season, you can earn KES 250,000 by growing shangi potatoes on one acre. It is assumed that you will harvest 10,000 tons of potatoes and sell all goods at Ksh 25 per kg with 0% post-harvest food losses.
Activities Involved in Potato Farming in Kenya
- Getting the Land Ready
- Plant nutrition (fertilizers)
- Ridding and weeding
- Crop security (pest and disease control)
Preparing Land for Shangi Potato
In the height range of 1500–2800 meters above sea level, the Shangi potato variety thrives. The cost of leasing land in this area for a year is roughly KES 4,000 per acre.
Shangi tubers for potato farming should be planted at a depth of 10 cm. Before you can build planting ridges, you’ll need to plow and harrow your farm to get it ready.
Using a tractor to plough and harrow an acre of land costs between KES 5000 and KES 2,500.
Best Soil and Water Requirements for Potato Farming
Well-drained soils are ideal for potatoes. The optimal soil for growing shangi potatoes is well-drained soil with a pH range of 5.5 to 7.5. A re-usable soil testing kit can be used to test the pH of your soil at home.
Furthermore, for KES 2,500, you can hire an agro vet shop or KARLO to take a sample and provide test findings.
Shangi potatoes thrive in areas where rainfall is plentiful, ranging from 850 to 1200 mm. Use potable water fit for human consumption for irrigation when you need to replenish your water supply.
Buy a re-usable water testing kit online for roughly KES 3,500 to test for water.
Shangi Potato Seed
A seed rate of 900 kg of small-sized potato seeds per acre is recommended. The size 1 seeds have a diameter of 28–45 mm.
KES 2500 for planting 50 kg of potatoes
Planting Shangi potatoes in Kenya
Plant potato seeds before the start of the rainy season, whether it’s a long or short one.Depending on the soil and rainfall in your location, shangi potato spacing is 20–30 cm by 60–90 cm.
Per acre, you’ll need 14,800–33,333 tubers.
With the sprouts’ eyes facing upward, plant the tubers at a depth of 10 cm. Add a layer of soil on top. To cultivate good potato crops during this time, apply well-rotten manure or plant fertilizer.
Best Planting and Topdressing Fertilizer for Shangai Potato
Potato farming in Kenya requires fertilizer that is high in phospate and potassium nutrients, and the amount you use will be determined by the nutritional level of your soil.
DAP planting fertilizer should be used at a rate of 200 kg per acre (1 kg per 25-meter furrow). Apply 80 kg/acre of DSP or TSP planting fertilizer if your soil test findings suggest your land is acidic.
Before the blossoming stage, you’ll apply 120 kg of CAN top-dressing fertilizer per acre. The overall cost of applying fertilizers to an acre of Irish potatoes is KES 22,000
This calculation assumes you’ll add 2 kg of foliar feed fertilizer at KES 400 per kg to the above fertilizers.
Weeding of a Potato Farm in Kenya
It is suggested that you repeat it 2-4 times per single season of potato farming in Kenya for better results. The first one is completed while weeding the potatoes, which have stems that are 15-20 cm long.
Before your potato can bloom, the remainder must be completed every two weeks. When the soil is damp, you should not ridge your potato furrows since it would compact the soil, restricting the size of your tubers.
Pest and Disease Control for Shangai Potato
The cost of fungicides, insecticides, and chemical application or spraying for pest and disease control strategies in potato farming in Kenya is roughly KES 27,500.
Common pests that affect many potato farmers in Kenya include:
- Spider Mites
- The Potato Tuber Moth
- Potato cyst nematode Diseases that can affect the shangi potato include:
- Common scab
- Bacterial Wilt
- Late Blight
- Bacterial soft rot
- Early Blight
- Potatpoto Leaf Roll Virus
Harvesting and Storing of the Shangi Potato
Irish potatoes mature for harvest in 3.5 months after planting. It can cost you about Ksh. 15,000 to harvest one acre of potatoes.
To avoid greening, keep your potatoes in a dark place until they’re ready to use. It should be cool and well ventilated in the room. Furthermore, after cutting the stems, you can keep potato tubers in the soil for 1–2 months.
In Kenya, potatoes are sold in 50-kilogram bags. It can cost up to KES 5,000 to purchase, sell, and carry potatoes.