Kenyan Miraa Market Widens As Somalia Increases Volumes

By Jane Muia / Published January 16, 2023 | 11:42 am




KEY POINTS

Somalia stopped importing khat when international flights were suspended in march 2020 due to fear of the spread of Covid-19. Diplomatic issues later kicked in making it difficult for the trade to continue.

The ban led to a loss of more than 50 tons of Kenyan khat valued at more than 20 million shillings a day.


Miraa

KEY TAKEAWAYS


Miraa exporters are required to be registered in 30 days upon payment of 20,000 shillings for an exporter’s license and 2,000 shillings for an exporter’s permit, failure to which they will be liable to a fine of not more than 5 million shillings or three-year imprisonment, or both.


Somalia has increased the volumes of miraa imports from Kenya as a boost to local farmers and traders who are eyeing good returns from the vast market.

Kenya’s exports of the stimulant had increased to 50 tonnes daily from the 19 tonnes the country was allowed to export in July last year when the trade between the two countries resumed.

“So far we are allowed to ship at least 50 tonnes of miraa a day to Mogadishu,” Head of Miraa Pyrethrum and other Industrial Crops Felix Mutwiri said.

Kenyan Miraa has been performing well in the Somalia market since the reopening of the market. However, prices of the commodity in Somalia markets have declined compared with those fetched before the market was halted. Somalia is now buying a kilo of miraa at $23 (2,852 shillings) lower than the $25 (3,100 shillings) fetched before the market stopped.

Somalia stopped importing khat when international flights were suspended in march 2020 due to fear of the spread of Covid-19. Diplomatic issues later kicked in making it difficult for the trade to continue. The ban led to a loss of more than 50 tons of Kenyan khat valued at more than 20 million shillings a day.

Bilateral talks between the two countries saw Kenya re-enter the market, under new requirements that were meant to streamline the sector.

Miraa exporters are required to be registered in 30 days upon payment of 20,000 shillings for an exporter’s license and 2,000 shillings for an exporter’s permit, failure to which they will be liable to a fine of not more than 5 million shillings or three-year imprisonment, or both.

By October last year, Kenya had earned at least 4 billion shillings from the sale of miraa to Somalia after exporting at least 1.2 million kilograms of the commodity.

Kenya is also eyeing European countries for the export of the commodity after the stimulant was banned in these countries in 2014 after it was classified as a drug.

Related Content: Miraa Farmers Decry High Levy Imposed By Mombasa Government






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