16 September 2017

Somalia: Mogadishu Readies Airport Godown for More Khat Cargo

Somalia-bound khat cargo planes will be required to land at the Aden Abdulle International Airport in Mogadishu, a government official said Friday.

The deputy minister for Commerce and Industry, Mr Mohamed Dirie Khalif, made the announcement while inspecting a warehouse at the airport where the leafy stimulant will be stored pending distribution.

Mr Khalif was accompanied by the ministry's Permanent Secretary Mr Abukar Mohamed Dahie and the director-general Mr Abdullahi Hayir Duale.

"All khat consignments destined for the city (Mogadishu) and Middle and Lower Shabelle regions will be delivered to Aden Abdulle International Airport," Mr Khalif was quoted by the state-run Mogadishu Radio on Friday.

He said about 14 tonnes of khat is expected at the airport daily.

"Khat (cargo) flights to Jowhar town, the capital of Middle Shabelle region have been stopped," he added.

The deputy minister said the decision was reached at after consultations with khat traders.

Khat is popular in Somalia but it is grown in neighbouring Kenya, where it is commonly referred to as miraa.

Since it has to be taken fresh, it is chewed after lunch and into the evening as a pastime by mainly Somali men.

Somalia is Kenya's largest khat export market, taking in about 50 tonnes of the commodity daily.

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