It is one of the country’s top producers of wheat, barley, potatoes and merino sheep products, but farmers in Narok North sub-county have little to show for it.
Potato farmers, especially, constantly lament the poor prices per sack, and most of them retain their farm produce, as transport costs to shopping centres are also prohibitively high.
Kidoku Ole Passiany says that though he produces over 100 sacks of potatoes in the June-September season, a large percentage of it does not make it to the market.
"There is no road linking us to any towns around, including Narok, the county headquarters. Many people use donkeys to ferry the produce to local markets here," said Mr Passiany, adding that those who use donkeys must make several trips to the markets.
Mr Passiany is among the potato farmers in Olpusimoru and Olokurto wards in Narok North who are staring at losses after heavy rains rendered roads impassable.
When Nation.Africa caught up with Mr Passiany, he was busy pulling a tractor out of a trench using metal chains.
He said roads had not been repaired for the past 10 years. He blamed the Narok county government, the Kenya Rural Roads Authority and area leaders for neglect.
“It is shameful to see motorists and traders spending days on roads because their vehicles are stuck in the mud. Others incur high maintenance costs due to frequent vehicle breakdowns,” he said.
Edna Naimodu, another potato farmer, says she had to sell her potatoes at throwaway prices after a trader from Nairobi cancelled his travel plans to Olpusimoru because of bad roads.
Just like the farmer, traders are also counting huge losses as the buyers take long to get to the crop fields.
Collins Nampaso owns a tractor, which carries loads of up to seven tonnes of potatoes from Ilikiai, Sereria and Olepolos villages and ferries them to a collecting point on the main road. He has been in this business for a decade.
In a sorry state
“My tractor was damaged two months ago due to the bad roads. I parted with over Sh200,000 for repairs,” he said.
A fortnight ago, his potatoes worth hundreds of thousands of shillings were spoilt after his tractor was stuck on the four-kilometre Enkusero-Olepolos road.
“What we call the main road, from Enengeti to Olokurto to Olpusimoru, is under the Kenya Rural Roads Authority (Kerra) and is also in a sorry state,” he said.
“The same is true for the Enkusero-Ololongoi-Elburgon road that links us to Nakuru. Several trucks have been stuck for days along this road with loads of potatoes in them.”
John ole Murumbi, also a trader in potatoes, says transport has been a nightmare since June. Traders spend at least Sh6,000 to ferry their produce from firms to lorries and to pull trucks out of the mud.
"I had to unload my potatoes from a lorry so that it could cross a bridge. I hired a tractor and several people to take the load to the other side and reload the truck," he said.
The area attracts potato traders from as far away as Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisii, Migori and Tanzania but does not have a single tarmacked road despite its high potential in farming.
The region produces at least 30,000 tonnes of potatoes worth over Sh2 billion annually, according to reports by Narok County. At least 4,000 farmers grow potatoes.
Area MP Moitalel Ole Kenta said: "I have asked Kerra to deal with the roads and it is time the government made sure this happens without delay."
Kerra and the Kenya National Highways Authority were noncommittal on whether the Enengetia-Olokurto-Olpusimoru road would be upgraded soon.
David Kerembu, the Narok region Kerra director, however, said the agency had advertised tenders for routine maintenance of road C708, which links Enengetia, Olokurto and Enkusero, and the contractor would be on the ground soon.