Cultivation PracticesThe lack of storage leads to economic losses for farmers who are forced to sell the produce at a time when prices are lowest. A solution to improve the current seed potato tuber supply could be the storage on a community basis in diffused light stores, in cooperation with service provision for potato production. These stores are built with local available materials, mainly wood and roofed with iron sheets. Furthermore, improved traditional stores (with charcoal-coated walls) have proved to be useful low-cost storage alternatives, particularly for storing seed potatoes.

Given the enormous benefits that farmers could realize from the storage of ware potatoes, there is the need to improve storage facilities at both farm and market levels by building of warehouses by farmer associations and service providers, for example. These warehouses could serve as bulking and marketing centers. An adapted form of the warehouse receipt system could be operated within such facilities. The poor market infrastructure for potato markets in Kenya are also contributors to post harvest losses.

Improving the marketing system, and in particular market infrastructure, would help to reduce losses as it is reasonable to assume that modern infrastructure would also have an impact on quality awareness. Most markets also lack cold storage facilities. Modern cold storage facilities should have a minimum capacity of 100 tons, given that costs decrease as storage capacity increases. The costs of storing seed potato long term (8-9 months) are calculated to be EUR 0.33 per kg in a 100-ton store and drop to EUR 0.13 per kg in a 400-ton store. Investments required per ton are rather high for storage capacities of 400 tons or less. Thus, small cold storage facilities are relatively expensive and will substantially raise seed prices. Consequently, professional modern storage is recommended for traders as well as farmer groups or processors who store large quantities.