Last news

NEWS

Will the sweet potato save Kenya?

Remedies to increasingly expensive and less imported maize

24-09-2022 by redazione

In difficult times for essential commodities and subsistence food for the Kenyan population, especially the poor, maize is one of the most import-dependent items, which is almost paradoxical considering that it is the number one staple food for Kenyans, who make polenta (otherwise known as ugali) the most popular daily dish in the country.

Climate change, the difficulty of having two maize harvests per year and problems with pest control products have made local harvests insufficient for the growing demand for maize meal. For some years now, the government and many companies have started to import maize, even raw, from Russia and Ukraine, which, at the time of the blockade due to the war between the two countries, were the most important exporters to Kenya.
Another key partner, until recently, was Tanzania, which recently, however, blocked exports from its 'neighbours'.
These events are convincing many farmers to focus on alternative and no longer expensive flours, such as those made from the sweet potato.
The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO), in collaboration with the International Potato Centre, has highlighted five promising sweet potato varieties and passed the know-how on to small farmers in Kenya.


Sweet potatoes are quite easy to grow, so already some farmers have realised the full potential of their sweet potato crop.
Sweet potatoes also have a growing period of three to a maximum of six months, so an average of three harvests per year.
The temperature and rainfall in the African country seems ideal: sweet potatoes are adaptable to different agro-ecological zones ranging from 0 to 2100m above sea level and are occasionally found at altitudes of around 2400m. They thrive at temperatures above 24°C in plenty of sunshine. They require precipitation of 750-1000mm per year.
Will families be able to accept the change from maize polenta, which together with the companion dish, ugali, forms the national dish, to that of sweet potato flour?
For now, the bulk of the market is for export, but Kenyans are beginning to come to terms with the sales and revenues from this new product-
When sweet potatoes are smaller, they have a lower price on the market, but growing them will put more money into farmers' pockets. The crop is rich in vitamin A, and is very healthy, beginning to be eaten as breakfast by most families, both urban and rural, instead of the classic porridge with white flour.
There are already those who market the mash, as well as using them for chips.
In short, Kenya's turn, not only in the fields but also in the kitchen, seems to be sweet.

TAGS: patatefarinacibo sostentamento

by redazione

The first maize crop of the Israeli-Kenyan irrigation project in the Galana river valley will feed the coastal population will pay for the meal at half price.
These days the Government will be selling packages of two kilos of flour that...

READ ALL THE REVIEW

by redazione

Kenya, thanks to past trade relations with Arabs, Indians and Persians, is a mix of cultures and traditions, of...

READ THE RECIPE

More than the economy of the country was the drought and the long time for the harvest of maize.
The fact is...

READ ALL THE ARTICLE

Mukimo is a traditional side dish from the central regions of Kenya.
It is...

READ THE RECIPE

In Kenya, potatoes are particularly tasty.
The local population loves them fries, so much so that they are the ideal side dish of the national dish, the "nyama choma" (meat grilled almost toasted).
But there are many other ways of...

READ ALL THE RECIPE

Since the start of the pandemic in Kenya, more than half of the population of Kenyans, or 58 percent of the...

READ THE ARTICLE

"Muhogo wa Nyama" (meat with cassava) is a typical dish of Kenyan cuisine. The cassava is a tuber completely similar to the manioc, it is used to make flour or potatoes, both fried and stewed. Its taste reminds a bit of...

READ ALL THE RECIPE

by redazione

For those who live in Malindi and its surroundings, it is easy to see how in the supermarket desks and in the colorful and cheerful confusion of kiosks, bazaars and local bunks, for some time now, the main food of...

READ ALL THE REVIEW

Hunger is back in Magarini district, Mambrui hinterland.
There are many fields owned by local communities in the villages that are out of grain stocks and there is no money to buy the packaged.
Corn flour, you know, is the staple food of...

READ ALL

In the middle of the week the Tangeri Lounge in Malindi offers its double evening of food and ...

READ ALL THE ARTICLE

This week's Thursday, Malindi's Kiwi People, the Eugenio-style restaurant bar in Lamu Road returns this week.
With the backdrop of the Italian and international music of "one man band" Filippo, on Thursday, August 24, free sangria for all participants and...

READ ALL THE REVIEW

RECIPES

by redazione

Matoke" or "matoki" are green bananas that are not excessively sweet, which also in Kenya, as in most parts of Africa, have various uses. In addition to flour and bread, they are used as potatoes in stews.
MORE POPULAR RECIPE IN...

READ ALL THE RECIPE

Low rainfall during Kenya's cold season means a shortage of maize meal, the main staple...

READ ALL THE ARTICLE