14 June 2017

Kenya: EU Miraa Lost Due to Misinterpretation of UN Conventions, CS Says

The government has taken the fight to reclaim the lost European miraa market to the United Nations.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett said they have tabled a request at the UN seeking an interpretation of the clause that European countries used to ban miraa.

The State also plans to review aviation regulations that bar transportation of miraa as ordinary cargo.

Speaking in Maua town while launching the implementation of the Miraa Taskforce report recommendations, Mr Bett said the government would recover lost markets and seek new ones for the crop.


"We want to lift the standards of living for the miraa farmer but this can only be done by opening more markets. The European market was lost due to misinterpretation of UN conventions," the CS said.

He said the government had also initiated reviewing of aviation regulations that bar passengers from entering airports with miraa.

Mr Bett said the ministry was fast tracking the establishment of a miraa development agency, miraa research institute and miraa demonstration farms in efforts increase production.

"The committee is already registering farmers before we finance construction of miraa markets and establishment of institutions to promote the production of the crop," Mr Bett said.


He directed the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation and Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate to move in with speed to address the pest destroying miraa trees.

The CS visited Meru as the Nyambene Miraa Traders Association spokesman Kimathi Munjuri said they had written to Mars Group, an audit organisation, to look into the spending of Sh1 billion allocated in the 2016/17 financial year.

The association also called for the expunging of a list of chemicals said to be used by farmers on the miraa trees that are listed in the taskforce report.

They say the six page list is likely to hurt the miraa market as it raises health concerns to consumers.


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