× Digital News Videos Health & Science Opinion Education Columnists Lifestyle Cartoons Moi Cabinets Kibaki Cabinets Arts & Culture Podcasts E-Paper Tributes Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified Jobs Games Crosswords Sudoku The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS
Watch The Tokyo Olympics 2020 live online

Hope as talks over miraa exports from Kenya to Somaliland begin

By WAINAINA NDUNG'U | July 31st 2016
Meru Governor Peter Munya

An initiative to reduce the duty imposed on miraa from Kenya by Somaliland is being well received by potential voters in the Nyambene region of Meru County, a good number who draw their income from the sale of that crop.

Last week, Meru Governor Peter Munya provided farmers from the region with details about his negotiations with leaders of Somaliland to have the customs duty reduced. The governor noted that currently Kenyan exporters are charged more than what it costs to produce miraa.

The sale of miraa is an emotive subject in Nyambene, and that is why its ban by the UK government was greeted with such anger in this region.

Therefore Munya’s foray into Somaliland is seen in the same light with an announcement by CORD leader Raila Odinga that he had opened diplomatic negotiations with Tanzania’s President John Magufuli to lift the total ban on khat exports. After jetting back from Hargeisa, the capital of the Somaliland, Munya said he had met the country’s leadership and discussed how to open up the miraa market estimated to be worth $400 million (Sh4 billion), with 99 per cent of the supplies coming from Ethiopia.

Some of the miraa farmers in Nyambene said efforts by Raila and Governor Munya must be bounced off against the inaction exhibited by the Jubilee administration in addressing the lack of market access.

“The President has been to France, Turkey and other European countries and we have not heard him put a case for miraa exports,” said Francis Gichunge, a miraa farmer.

The United Republican Party (URP) Meru chairman James Mithika, who is also a miraa farmer in Igembe Central, also supported the intervention by leaders such as Munya.

“Anybody of whichever colour, creed and persuasion trying to resolve the miraa issue is welcome,” said Mr Mithika.

Recently, Munya met with the Deputy President of Somaliland Abdurrahman Ishmael and his foreign and finance ministers in Somalia. “Their minister of finance agreed to constitute a technical committee to review duty imposed on Kenyan miraa. They want to be recognised by the Kenya Government, just as they are diplomatically recognised by Ethiopia,” said the governor. Early this year, President Uhuru Kenyatta appointed a taskforce to look into the problems facing mirra farmers and recommend how to revive the sector.

Among those who have raised issues with the membership is URP Meru chairman, Rev Gichunge and miraa ambassador Rajesh Hilani.

“It is clear the taskforce was not broadly constituted,” said Hilani. “Not all stakeholders were included in it.”

Share this story
Simbas maul Cranes
Kenya Simbas reclaimed the Elgon Cup by beating Uganda Rugby Cranes 45-24 (93-34 on aggregate) in the return leg-cum-Rugby Africa Division 1A encounter, at the RFUEA Grounds in Nairobi, yesterday.
Why Kenyan boxers are winning medals once again
The BFK led by President Anthony ‘Jamal’ Ombok was elected into the office in 2019 and has since...