Have you heard of “Markies” yet? Probably not. Markies is the new potato variety on the block that can increase your profits by as much as 88% but with a downside of taking relatively more time.
Is this something that interests you?
Well, let’s find out.
Irish potato has over the years become one of the staple foods across different countries.
In Kenya for instance, potatoes are the fourth most important staple dish, after maize, wheat, and rice respectively.
Besides, with the population increasing at the highest rate in history, and the need for food on the rise, potato farming offers a great alternative in tackling the need for food security.
Unfortunately, most countries including Kenya are still importing this important commodity as a result of a deficit in supply.
Several researchers and experts attribute, variety choice coupled with certified seeds as the main cause for bumper potato harvest or otherwise.
Indeed, there have been several other successful varieties in Kenya such as Tigoni, Asante, Shangi (most popular with Kenyan farmers), and Kenya Mpya.
However, this new potato variety is projected to make its mark in the hearts of farmers and chips lovers.
Markies is a crisping and chipping variety with yellow skin and light yellow flesh color. It’s highly sought after due to its floury cooking texture and an excellent dry matter content.
In addition, the variety is known to absorb less oil when fried for either crisps or chips (French fries), making it a darling for hoteliers.
Growing ‘Markies’ New Potato Variety
It is important to note that Markies is late maturing variety (120 days). The optimum planting distance for certified seeds is about 32cm with a hectare accommodating up to 40,000 plants.
To get the best results, ridging is necessary for the variety to produce big tubers just like any other variety. This new potato variety produces a strong canopy and good soil coverage, hence ensuring great moisture retention.
Learn how to go about potato farming in Kenya. Such a great article!
The variety is moderately susceptible to common potato scab and Erwinia. Markies is further resistant to virus A & X, Leafroll, Virus Yn, and Fusarium wilt. It is also resistant to Potato Late Blight and Tuber Blight.
Most potato varieties yield about 3000 to 6000 kgs of produce per acre with an average of 4500kgs with appropriate crop husbandry. In this case, each potato plant can produce about 5 to 10 potatoes.
This new potato variety yields an average of 7 potatoes per plant and an average of 8500 kgs per acre! That’s a whopping 88.9% yield increase. That’s huge if you ask me.
Here’s the icing on the cake,
The Markies have got a very good dormancy at a temperature of 6ºC. This means they store well over long periods following a bountiful harvest and initial drying.
Markies might be a new potato variety in Kenya, but according to Agrico EA, the company behind the variety has seen farmers and gardeners worldwide benefit from growing this variety.
With a growing demand for crisps and chips in Kenya, venturing into potato farming to target hotels might just prove to be one of the greatest Agribusiness decision you’ll ever make.
Disclaimer: I’m not affiliated in any way to Agrico EA or its variety ‘Markies.’ Therefore, I’ve just highlighted the facts as they are, and that’s not to mean I’m endorsing the variety in any way.
Before, you choose to grow this variety, let be based on market demand and subject to validating all the facts presented herein.
Let me know what you think in the comments below.