2 May 2014

Kenya: Traders Seek Help to Reverse Miraa Export Ban

Nairobi — The Nyambene Miraa Trade Association is requesting support from the government to reverse the ban on miraa exports to the United Kingdom.

The association's spokesperson Kimathi Munjuri says the European Market is one of its major export areas and if lost, will adversely affect the industry.

He is calling on the government to intervene, given that the miraa industry generates export revenue of Sh56 million per week.

"We are looking at the closure of our export market in the United Kingdom after the House of Commons passed a Bill to ban miraa from being exported to the United Kingdom. When this market closes we'll only have Somalia," he said.

"We have not got any clear indications from the government which direction the industry should take."

Munjuri says that there is a lot of hesitation coming from local farmers to continue with the trade due to uncertainty in the European market.

"The levels of uncertainty are alarmingly high and do not augur well for any planning, investments or even savings. No one knows what will happen next."

Munjuri says a diplomatic approach that was being led by a parliamentary committee that visited London and Holland after many sessions with stakeholders locally and within the region but so far no official report has been tabled.

"All Meru politicians had jumped into the fight for miraa locally and internationally but with the latest developments, only Hon. (Florence) Kajuju is still soldiering. Were they genuinely in the fight or was it for political mileage?"

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