The Scottish seed potato industry has received a boost after Kenya and Scotland signed an agreement allowing the product to be imported into the East African Commonwealth country.
One of the main challenges for the Kenyan potato sector, the second most important food crop in Kenya after maize, is the availability of high quality seed, with the majority of potato growers using generally poor-quality farm-saved seed.
The high quality of Scottish seed and the fact it is free from quarantine pest and diseases was a key factor in opening up the Kenyan market to Scotland.
“This is welcome news for the Scottish seed potato sector and further recognition of its global renown for producing high quality seed potatoes.
“Kenya grows around 160,000 hectares of potatoes annually, but only two per cent of this is grown from certified seed potatoes. The potential market demand is therefore significant.”
– Rural Economy Secretary, Fergus Ewing
Annually around 11,000 hectares of high grade seed potatoes producing a crop of about 260,000 tonnes with an estimated value, of at least £80-100m are grown in Scotland.