Construction of the first state-funded miraa trading centre is set to kick off next week.
A foundation stone for the Sh25 million centre will be laid at Muringene market in Igembe Central.
The two-storey building will have ample space for trading of the fresh produce as well as units for packing and packaging, storage, a sanitation block, offices for plant inspectors and loading bays.
According to Kimani Munjuri, who sits at the Miraa Task Force Report Implementation Technical Team, construction of two more centres at Maua and Laare is expected by March 2020.
"These markets will ensure orderly trading and hygienic handling of miraa and eradicate roadside trading," said Munjuri, who is also the Nyambene Miraa Traders Association chairman.
The centres are among the projects being financed from Treasury's Sh1 billion allocation under the 2018/2019 budget, which has also funded sinking of boreholes and construction of water pans for khat growing areas in Mt Kenya East region.
The funds were distributed on a pro rata basis to the three counties of Embu, Tharaka Nithi and Meru, but the projects are being implemented by the Miraa Task Force team, under the State Department of Crops chaired by the Administration Secretary Kello Harsama.