Farmers to learn over 100 ways of cooking potato at agri-fair

More than 70 exhibitors and 15,000 farmers are expected to attend the three-day event.

Some innovations to be exhibited in the Eldoret Agriculture Trade Fair. More than 70 exhibitors and 15,000 farmers are expected to attend the three-day event. PHOTO | COURTESY | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

IN SUMMARY

  • Celebrated Kenyan and Dutch chefs will display how the popular delicacy can be cooked in different ways in a contest aimed at maximising yields from the crop and boosting food security.
  • University of Eldoret council chairman Prof Harun Mengech hailed trade fairs and farming clinics as forums through which scientific knowledge that will enhance food productivity will be transferred to farmers.
  • Other technologies to be demonstrated at the fair include cheap hand pushed tractors for farms as small as an eighth of an acre.
  • Netherlands is the largest exporter of seed potato in the world with more than 630 registered varieties, 33 of which have been registered in Kenya in the last three years.

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How many ways of cooking potato do you know of? One boiling, two frying, three mashing... There are 100 of them.

These many ways and other value addition skills will be showcased at the University of Eldoret from September 22 to 24 during an agricultural fair.

Celebrated Kenyan and Dutch chefs will display how the popular delicacy can be cooked in different ways in a contest aimed at maximising yields from the crop and boosting food security.

The fair is sponsored by the Netherlands Embassy in Nairobi, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Kenya Agricultural Value Chain Enterprises (KAVES) project.

Others include agrochemical manufacturer Coopers Kenya and Nation Media Group.

More than 70 exhibitors and 15,000 farmers are expected to attend the three-day event.

“Some 65 companies will come from The Netherlands alone to exhibit,” said Liz Kiamba of the Embassy of the Netherlands.

University of Eldoret council chairman Prof Harun Mengech hailed trade fairs and farming clinics as forums through which scientific knowledge that will enhance food productivity will be transferred to farmers.

(Read: Dutch firms to exhibit latest farming technology)

“At the food court, we intend to showcase the numerous ways Kenyans can cook different potato varieties. What has traditionally happened is that people use any potato varieties for mashing and for crisping. We intend to show why this should not be the case,” said Susan Kamau, the Let’s Cook TV host.

REVAMPING POTATO SECTOR

Also expected in action is the award-winning Chef Ali L’artiste, who has appeared in international TV cookery shows in the Middle East and Culinary conventions in America and Netherland’s based Chef Marco Blok.

Other technologies to be demonstrated at the fair include cheap hand pushed tractors for farms as small as an eighth of an acre.

There has been renewed efforts at revamping potato production in Kenya in recent years as the tuber is considered the most viable alternative to maize following attacks on the staple by the Maize Lethal Necrosis.

According to potato promoters, the crop is a better option due to its acceptability across social classes and age. It is also more nutritious and if embraced fully, it can reduce dependability on maize releasing the staple for animal feed.

At the same time, potato peels and the very small tubers can be manufactured into animal feed and in more advanced applications make clean energy such biofuels.

According to the Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organisation head of the Tigoni Potato Centre Dr Jackson Kabira, potato has a higher productivity per square metre of land than maize.

Netherlands is the largest exporter of seed potato in the world with more than 630 registered varieties, 33 of which have been registered in Kenya in the last three years.

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