Africa Kids Book Club


Did you know potatoes have a fascinating origin story in Kenya?

Scientists  believe potatoes were cultivated for food between 7,000 and 10,000 years ago in the Andes Mountains, in what is now southern Peru and northwestern Bolivia. 

In the 16th century, the potato was introduced to Europe and soon spread to Africa and Asia.

The European settlers introduced potatoes to Kenya during the colonial era. Since then, potatoes have become a staple crop in Kenya, cultivated widely across various regions primarily in the Highland areas of Kiambu, Nakuru, Uasin Gishu,  Nyandarua, Nyeri, West Pokot, and Keiyo Marakwet.

The most common potatoes grown in Kenya include Shanghai, Markies,Normandy red,sweet potatoes, Kenya mpya, Dutch, e.t.c. These varieties vary in colour, texture, and taste.

16 Different types of potatoes | Types of potatoes, Potato varieties, Food

There are so many ways to cook  potatoes. For example, Deep frying ,mashing ,Roasting Baking,grilling, stewing among other methods.

Children love potatoes because of their soft and creamy texture. Whether in the form of fries, mashed potatoes, or potato wedges, children are drawn to the comforting taste of this versatile vegetable.

How to Cook Potatoes from Fried to Baked - Best Ways to Cook Potatoes

Apart from their popularity among children, potatoes hold significant importance in the Kenyan food industry and agriculture. 

They serve as a vital source of nutrition, providing essential carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals to local diets. Additionally, the cultivation of potatoes contributes to food security and economic sustainability for many small scale farmers across the country.

Next time you eat and enjoy some chips, Crisps or mashed potatoes, you’ll know where your potatoes have come from.

Rose Makena

Book club coordinator/ Facilitator

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