Kenya to resume Miraa exports to Somalia after lifting of 2-year ban

By , K24 Digital
On Fri, 10 Jun, 2022 17:13 | 2 mins read
Miraa crop export to Somalia set to kick off in the next two weeks after a two-year ban was lifted. PHOTO/Dorcas Mbatia
Miraa crop export to Somalia set to kick off in the next two weeks after a two-year ban was lifted. PHOTO/Dorcas Mbatia

Miraa crop export to Somalia will kick off in the next two weeks after an appeal to lift a two-year ban was successful.

Making the announcement, Agriculture Cabinet secretary Peter Munya said the lifting of the ban is a great breakthrough in the growth of the economy of the country.

Agriculture Cabinet secretary Peter Munya
Agriculture Cabinet secretary Peter Munya.

Following a fruitful diplomatic dialogue between President Uhuru Kenyatta and newly elected Somalia president Mohamud Hassan, Munya said the trade partnership will also open doors to other crops.

Addressing media at Kaliati in Tigania west today when he kicked off his two days Azimio campaign in the region, the CS confirmed that diplomatic negotiations between the Kenyan government and the Federal Republic of Somalia had been successful and in two weeks an official signing of the trade partnership will be witnessed in Nairobi.

"This is a great breakthrough and achievement by the government we thank our President and his handshake partner Raila Odinga for this step because Somalia is the largest market for the Miraa crop and after the ban, the country lost billions of shillings alongside suffering inflicted on farmers," Munya stated.

He also said that by Tuesday next week, Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) will be finalized after President Mohamud and his delegation tour the country to cement the business deal.

“Business between the two countries had earlier been closed by the previous regime but we can authoritatively announce that it will now resume because all the negotiations and agreements have been finalized. Flights to and from the country are expected to resume anytime,' the CS added.

Munya further announced that miraa will be airlifted from Isiolo International Airport by farmers from the neighbouring Meru county to reduce the cost of transporting Miraa to Nairobi.

"Isiolo airport will shorten the journey to Wilson airport in Nairobi and our farmers who are mainly from Nyambene region will not incur a lot of costs considering the proximity of the export centre,” he added.

Following the ban of Khat which is the mainstay of the people of Igembe, many farmers have counted losses amounting to millions of shillings as the lucrative business used to fetch Ksh50 million a day according to growers.

Speaking to K24-Digital, Kimathi Munjuri chairman of Nyambene Miraa trader associations said the lift will bring back the lost glory and help the region export more than 50 tones a day to Somalia market.

“We are calling on our farmers to start preparing to resume the trade and promise them the government is still holding secret negotiations with other countries to open more markets for Miraa," he said.

The former Meru county governor said the agreements will also enable the two countries to trade freely where Kenya will import fish from Somalia among other products and crops.