Kenyan khat farmers are enjoying a boom in unfortunate circumstances

BBC reported last week on Friday that dozens of people had died and at least 30,000 displaced.

Kenyan miraa traders are a happy and wealthy lot following booming business in the past few weeks.

Miraa (khat) traders are cashing in on miraa shortage in Somaliland, one of the biggest markets following disruption of the business after conflict broke out in Ethiopia’s Oromia and Somali regions.

Ethiopia supplies most of the miraa consumed in Somaliland, and Djibouti, however, a recent ethnic conflict has seen the green twigs disappear from the market after transport from the khat growing areas got cut off.

“Two aircraft are ferrying 12 tonnes of miraa from Nairobi. We have been kept out of the market by hefty taxes and this is why we need government intervention for constant supply. We hope the government will grab this chance to regularise the trading framework for us to continue with the supply,” Nyambene Miraa Traders Association spokesman Kimathi Munjuri said.

Mr. Munjuri explained that they entered the market after traders and consumers in Somaliland protested over shortage of the herb that is highly prized in the region.

Miraa is a major tax earner for Somaliland and in 2014 generated Sh3billion for the government according to media reports.

Somaliland is said to spend over Sh54 billion annually on Ethiopian miraa and the sector is a key source of employment in the unrecognized state.

BBC reported last week on Friday that dozens of people had died and at least 30,000 displaced in clashes across Ethiopia’s Oromia and Somali regions.

Somaliland is one of the most stable regions in Somalia and shares borders with Djibouti to the west, Ethiopia to the south and Somalia to the east, but is yet to be recognised as a sovereign state.

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