Kenya’s three months miraa exports to Somalia hit Sh4bn

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Kenya’s miraa exports to Somalia have earned the country Sh4 billion in three months since the resumption of sales of the stimulant to the Horn of Africa nation in July this year.

Head of Miraa Pyrethrum and other Industrial Crops Felix Mutwiri says Kenya has so far exported 1.4 million kilogrammes of miraa after the two countries resolved an earlier tiff.

The move comes as a major boost to the government in terms of foreign exchange earnings and a source of livelihood to growers who had been hit hard when Mogadishu slapped a ban in 2019.

“We have so far exported 1.46 million kilogrammes of miraa since we resumed the Somalia market in July and we are still in talks to increase the volumes in coming days,” said Mr Mutwiri. A kilogramme of miraa in Somali is now fetching $23 (Sh2,760), which translates to about Sh4 billion for the entire consignment.

Earnings have, however, been slowed down by caps on the tonnage that Kenya is allowed to export to Somalia. Previously, Nairobi was allowed to sell 40 tonnes every day but currently can only ship a maximum of 19 tonnes daily.

Mr Mutwiri said they are addressing the issue with the Joint Commission of Corporation- an entity bringing together officials from Kenya and Somalia to iron out the issue.

“We are waiting for the new officials at the ministry to settle in the office first before we pick up the issues aimed at resolving the current challenges,” he said.

He said the directorate has, in collaboration with the Kenya Bureau of Standards developed Miraa Industry Code of Practice KNWA 2940:2021 that will guide farmers on good agricultural practices at the production level and post-harvest handling and they are now sensitising miraa growing counties to embrace it.