JOINT NEWS RELEASE BETWEEN WORLD POTATO CONGRESS AND THE GOVERNMENT OF KENYA REGARDING THE 2026 WORLD POTATO CONGRESS
The World Potato Congress Inc. is pleased to announce that Nairobi, Kenya has been chosen as the site for its 2026 World Potato Congress. The proposed theme for this event is, “Developing Global Potato Partnerships for Enhanced Food Systems, Food Security and International Trade”. The WPC is expected to draw potato industry colleagues and partners from all over the world. This will be the first time this globally significant biennial business event will be held in sub-Sahara Africa.
The successful bid, led by National Potato Council of Kenya and Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development , was supported by Council’s many public and private sector partners including, but not limited to International Potato Centre, SSA (CIP), Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA), Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization, KenInvest, Pest Control Product Board, Kevian Kenya Ltd, and Agriculture Sector Network (ASNET), Bayer East Africa and Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable agriculture.
Potatoes are the second most important food crop, after maize, in Kenya and plays an important role in food security, poverty eradication, and economic development. Yet Africa faces a great challenge with food security as population growth continues at a fast pace. The potato crop has substantial room for improved yields, better utilization and increased incomes along the whole value chain.
As per the bid committee: “Holding the Congress in Kenya will contribute towards ending extreme poverty in all forms in Africa. Besides contributing towards ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition, the congress will provide valuable educational opportunities in promoting sustainable agriculture. It will provide opportunity for inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all, especially for youths and women in the sector” .
Kenya prides itself as a mature and vibrant hospitality industry with a globally renowned world class chain of hotels offering first class conference and accommodation facilities. The Country has an established information and communication (ICT) infrastructure, which is among the leading in the continent in terms of coverage and network connectivity in, sea, road and air transport. The 2026 World Potato Congress is expected to attract over 1000 delegates in Nairobi for the week, stimulating the local tourism economy. Besides the trade show component and congress, Kenya has a lot to offer delegates to the three days’ event in late July 2026.
Plans are in place for a pre-conference golf tournament and networking reception. Post-conference activities will include technical tours to large seed and potato growing operations, researchers, packers and processors as well as an opportunity for delegates to visit one of Kenya’s many national parks. Delegates wishing to extend their stay will have the opportunity to witness the 8th Wonder of the World, the world’s largest Wildebeest migration which occurs in the months of July and August.
The Kenyan people are known for their hospitality and rich cultural diversity, and the bid committee looks forward to ensuring all delegates leave Kenya with long lasting business relationships and friendships.
Peter VanderZaag, President of the World Potato Congress Inc. stated “I am excited that Kenya will host the 13th World Potato Congress in 2026. Kenya is centrally located and a leader in both potato research and development in East Africa. I am confident that this congress will increase the profile and capacity for the potato value chain in this region as well as provide an opportunity for networking, investment, and trade relationships across the entire potato sector.”
Mr. Peter VanderZaag
World Potato Congress Inc.
Mr. Kello Harsama
Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development.
State Department of Crop Development
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