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Kenya to welcome the potato world: Nairobi secures bid to host 2026 World Potato Congress

The World Potato Congress Inc. has announced Nairobi, Kenya, as the destination for its 2026 World Potato Congress. This event, centered around the theme “Fostering Global Potato Partnerships for Enhanced Food Systems, Food Security, and International Trade,” will mark the first occasion this vital biennial event has been hosted in sub-Saharan Africa.

The successful bid, orchestrated by the National Potato Council of Kenya and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, was endorsed by a myriad of public and private sector partners. These include notable entities such as the International Potato Centre, SSA (CIP), Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA), KenInvest, and others.

Contributing to eradicating extreme poverty

In Kenya, potatoes rank as the second most critical food crop, trailing only maize. They play a substantial role in food security, poverty alleviation, and economic development. However, Africa continues to grapple with food security issues amid rapidly growing population. This situation presents a vast scope for improved potato yields, better utilization, and increased income generation along the entire value chain.

The bid committee stated, “By hosting the Congress in Kenya, we aim to contribute to eradicating extreme poverty across Africa. Apart from tackling hunger, achieving food security, and improving nutrition, the congress will foster sustainable agriculture and provide educational opportunities. It will stimulate inclusive and sustainable economic growth, creating productive employment and decent work opportunities, particularly for young people and women in the sector.”

Promised to be ‘a memorable experience’

Credit World Potato Congress Inc

Kenya boasts a thriving hospitality industry, with a chain of globally recognized, world-class hotels providing top-tier conference and accommodation facilities. The robust ICT infrastructure and extensive coverage of sea, road, and air transport networks place the country among the continent’s leaders.

With over a thousand delegates expected to converge in Nairobi for the 2026 World Potato Congress, the event will give a significant boost to the local tourism economy. In addition to the congress and trade show, delegates can partake in various pre- and post-conference activities, including golf tournaments, technical tours, and visits to national parks.

Kenya, renowned for its hospitality and cultural diversity, promises a memorable experience for all attendees. Peter VanderZaag, President of the World Potato Congress Inc., expressed his excitement over Kenya’s selection, lauding the country as a leader in potato research and development in East Africa. He expressed confidence that the congress will raise the profile and capacity of the potato value chain in the region.

The 2024 World Potato Congress will be held in Adelaide, South Australia on June 23 to 26.

Source: World Potato Congress Inc | Government of Kenya joint release
Cover photo: Potatoes grown in the Kibirichia area of Mount Kenya. Photo taken in 2010 as part of a project examining the impact of climate change on agriculture. Wikimedia Commons
Related: Kenya To Host The 2026 World Potato Congress. KNA3

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse

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