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Miraa farmers find market in Israel

The leaders have castigated the classification of Miraa as a drug

Kenya is set start exporting miraa to Israel after the country identified buyers for the stimulant in the middle eastern country.

Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) Chairman Cornelly Serem has said this is part of the diversification of the country’s products to Israel as Kenya looks for ways of filling at least one cargo flight to the Middle-East Nation.

Serem said he recently led a team to Israel in search of a new market and they got a positive feedback.

Serem spoke in Meru during the launch of the ultra-modern miraa market at Muringene which has been built by the national government. Other markets under construction are ongoing in Laare and Tira.

Kenya has been left to solely rely on Somalia market after the UK, which was one of the largest buyer of the commodity banned the export of the commodity over a decade ago.

Miraa traders were hit in 2020 when Somalia, Kenya’s key market for the stimulant imposed a ban on the exports, leaving farmers stranded with thousands of tonnes of the commodity.

Kenya resumed exports to Mogadishu last year but traders are only allowed to export a limited tonne each day unlike previously.

Mogadishu is prioritising the Ethiopian stimulant at the expense of the Kenyan one and Israel market may come as a major boost to local growers.

Igembe South Member of Parliament John Paul Mwirigi raised concerns that a cartel wanted to control miraa export, including fixing prices, a move that had seen traders thrown out of airport last year before AFA and the Ministry of Agriculture intervened.

Benson Rioba
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