Farmers earn Sh221 million in four days after Uhuru's intervention

The farmers and traders are selling the commodity at Sh2,734 per kilo.

President Uhuru Kenyatta at the Nyayo National Stadium during Labour Day celebrations on May 1, 2022

The resumption of miraa exports to Somalia has earned farmers and traders Sh221 million in just four days.

Head of Miraa Pyrethrum and other Industrial Crops Felix Mutwiri announced that Kenya had exported 81.4 tonnes of miraa to Mogadishu four days after the market was opened.

This represented products from 19 traders from the 22 who had applied to be cleared to access the lucrative Somalia market.

We have so far exported 81.4 tonnes in the last four days and we expect the volumes to grow in the coming days as more people are cleared to ship out the commodity,” she said.

The traders are selling the stimulant at Sh2,734 per kilo, approximately Sh238 less than the price before Somalia shut down its market.

We have a lot of miraa right now in the farmers and we can meet the market demand in Somalia,” said Nyambene Miraa Trade Association (Nyamita) chairman, Kimathi Munjuri.

According to new regulations, exporting miraa without a licence or registration attracts a 3-year jail sentence or Sh5 million fine.

Kenya is experiencing market rivalry from Ethiopia, which has been providing the market with miraa since Nairobi was locked out due to the breakdown of diplomatic relations with Somalia.

In June, President Uhuru Kenyatta held talks with the incoming Somalia government officials where they agreed to resume the miraa trade between the two countries.

“We want to thank President Uhuru Kenyatta for the diplomatic negotiations he has been carrying out quietly. The ban had greatly affected the economy of Mt Kenya East and the farmers’ earnings,” Agriculture CS Peter Munya said in June.

The signing of the Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASAs) which in simpler terms is a -treaty signed between countries to allow international commercial air transport services between territories allowed the export of miraa for the first time since 2020.

The exportation had initially been banned due to the spread of COVID-19, however, when international air travel resumed, Somalia announced a continuation of the ban, with Former President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed alias Farmaajo opting to import miraa from Ethiopia instead.

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