The NPCK, Nakuru county government in collaboration with BAC and Egerton University (CARP+ SPVC) organized the south rift region potato trade fair that was held at Baraka Agricultural College. The event which had 26 exhibitors was attended by over 1000 farmers who graced mainly form Nakuru county but also from neighboring counties. During the event, CARP+ SPVC and TAGDev program at Egerton University participated through exhibitions which were conducted by farmers and students. The first cohort of students at TAGDev were excited to show case some of their products that they have developed over the one year. The CMS Agroprises, a group of agri-enterprise development students (Msc) showcased the crisps they have been processing as a registered youth group. The group which comprises of three Msc students under CARP+ SPVC developed the idea of adding value to potato after their exposure in challenges facing potato farmers in Nakuru county. The decided to add value to potato to make more money and to avoid post-harvest losses experienced due to perishability of the commodity.
The Elite Associates, a second group of students registered as a youth group also exhibited during the event. This group is comprised of students in second year (Bsc) mostly from agricultural economics who came together to start a potato production enterprise. During this day, the group representatives exhibited some of the produce from their first crop (jelly). The group have been working with CMS Agroprises as their supplies for potato to make crisps. They have also been contracted by the catering department at Egerton University to supply 200kg of potato per week. Other students that exhibited during the day were Tamu nuts who have been processing peanuts and packing for sale. The team has been working with farmers from Baringo County. Farmers under the CARP+ SPVC demonstrated their produce from the first crop they planted at the demo plots in the six sites where the CARP+ has camped. The most striking thing about the farmers’ exhibition is that they were able to get contacts with markets some of whom ordered various quantities from as far as Nairobi city. This phenomenon really encouraged farmers and going forward, we believe their energy in potato production is renewed.
We thank AGRA and Mastercard Foundation-RUFORUM (CARP+ SPVC) for funding this event.