Miraa Exports Fetch Ksh. 200M In One Week

Since the market opened up last weekend, the country has exported 81.4 tonnes of the stimulant to Mogadishu, according to Felix Mutwiri, the head of Miraa Pyrethrum and other Industrial Crops.

Kenya exported miraa (khat) worth Sh221 million in four days after the Somalia market reopened, demonstrating the commodity’s importance in the economy.

Since the market opened up last weekend, the country has exported 81.4 tonnes of the stimulant to Mogadishu, according to Felix Mutwiri, the head of Miraa Pyrethrum and other Industrial Crops.

Mr Mutwiri stated that 19 of the 22 traders who had applied for export permits had been cleared, despite the fact that more traders had sought clearance to obtain the licences.

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

After being cleared under the new regulations, the directorate began issuing export licenses to miraa traders last week.

Anyone who exports miraa without registering and obtaining a license faces a sentence of up to three years in prison or a fine of up to Sh5 million.

A kilo of miraa to Somalia now costs $23 (Sh2,734), which is still less than the $25 (Sh2,972) it fetched before the market was halted.

Kenya faces market competition from Ethiopia, which has been supplying the market with miraa since Nairobi was locked out.

Kimathi Munjuri, chairman of the Nyambene Miraa Trade Association (Nyamita), stated that there is enough crop in the farms to meet market demand.

“We have a lot of miraa right now in the farmers and we can meet the market demand in Somalia,” said Mr Munjuri.

In the last three years, traders have relied on the local market after Khartoum banned the export of the stimulant following a diplomatic row between the two countries.

Kenya embarked on a search for a new market in Djibouti in order to save farmers who rely on the crop as their primary source of income.

Djibouti gets the majority of its khat supply from Ethiopia, but there is a significant shortage of the stimulant because Addis Ababa is unable to meet the country’s total demand.

Even with the resumption of Somalia market exports, the directorate stated that they are still targeting European countries, which banned the crop in 2014 after it was classified as a drug.