Kentucky Fried Rooster (KFC) and different multinational restaurant chains will in coming years be barred from importing pre-sliced potatoes in a coverage shift aimed toward boosting native capability of farmers to produce worldwide eateries.
Co-operatives and Small Enterprises ministry says Kenya has imported the ‘Memphis’ number of potato seedlings, which had been beneficial by KFC and had been being piloted in main potato-growing areas.
The seedlings, Co-operatives Cupboard secretary Simon Chelugui mentioned, had been accepted by Kenya Plant Well being Inspectorate Service (Kephis) and Agriculture ministry.
“Now we have already obtained them, put them by means of Kephis processes, they’ve been accepted and now we have now launched these seedlings to our farmers in Nyandarua, Timboroa (Baringo), Molo and Elburgon [Nakuru],” mentioned Mr Chelugui in Nairobi yesterday.
“We imagine in future all forms of potatoes in KFC [restaurants] and all different worldwide meals chains are going to be sourced from Kenya. That can imply extra money to our farmers, saving our bucks and selling our industries.”
Kenyans had been in January 2022 alarmed to be taught that American-owned KFC, whose franchise in East Africa is held by Kuku Meals, imports potatoes it makes use of for French fries it serves in its chains, that are fashionable with city middle-class households.
This got here to fore after the KFC joints ran out of pre-sliced potato imports largely from Egypt.
The fast-food chain, which has been working in Kenya since 2011, insisted native potato varieties don’t meet its worldwide requirements and style.
KFC had on the time, nonetheless, indicated it was on a journey to determine an area provider who has the processing, monitoring and chilly chain administration functionality to produce its chain with pre-sliced potatoes.
Memphis selection, which Kenya has imported, is claimed to be high-yielding, red-skinned kind with lengthy dormancy, which makes them appropriate for worldwide markets due to longer shelf life.
Mr Chelugui mentioned the ministry was within the technique of unveiling the Sh100 million-potato chilly storage amenities in Ol Kalou, Nyandarua, which President William Ruto launched on April 6, three years after development started.
“You individuals in potato MSMEs ought to go to these chilly storage amenities and start to cut these potatoes into sizes they (KFC) need, package deal and ship them as a result of we now have the breed that they needed,” the CS mentioned.
“We’ll cease this enterprise of potatoes going to waste in Kenya.”