Construction of two modern miraa markets in Igembe North in Meru County has started.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya (pictured) launched the construction of a three-floor market at Laare on Saturday, while another market will be built at Mutuate market.
Another market project is on-going at Muringene market in Igembe Central Sub County after a launch by Munya's predecessor Mwangi Kiunjuri.
Mr Munya, who also opened a new Mwenge Miraa Sacco office at Laare, said the national government aspired to have khat traded in standard buildings in the growing sub-counties. The facility will also have a borehole.
Munya revealed they were also in discussion with the National cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) to provide space at the Maua town premises for another miraa market to serve the Igembe South Sub County.
The national government is spending part of the Sh1 billion allocated to the development of miraa in the construction of markets and boreholes in the region.
Munya, who was flanked by Eala MP Mpuru Aburi, said farmers and traders could borrow from a Sh122 million fund to be disbursed through the Mwenge Miraa Sacco.
“We are giving the money for distribution in (miraa growing) wards. Farmers, boda boda operators and traders can now borrow, at a friendly three percent interest. You can borrow to grow your business,” the CS said.
Mwenge Sacco has opened offices in Maua and Laare town, but Munya said the plan the ministry has is to open more offices in each of the miraa growing sub-counties.
“We said we start with two offices then open others in all wards in order to reach more people,” he said.
He said the strategy is to have miraa farmers, traders and other groups join the Mwenge Sacco and transform it into a major financial institution that will benefit the community.
Miraa is mostly grown in Igembe North, Igembe Central, Igembe South and Tigania East sub-counties which are all in the northern part of the county.