Miraa farmers to wait longer before tasting the lucrative Somalia market

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya.

Photo credit: David Muchui | Nation Media Group

Miraa farmers and traders will have to wait longer before securing the lucrative Somalia market after it emerged that the trade deal that was to be inked on Tuesday did not take place.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya on Wednesday assured stakeholders that a deal to restore trade with Somalia would be signed at a later date. This is after Somalia President Hassan Mohamud failed to attend the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) extraordinary meeting in Nairobi.

Addressing residents in Maua town where launched the issuance of more than 43,000 title deeds for Igembe South and Igembe Central, Mr Munya said President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Somalia counterpart were in communication and would soon meet to finalise the deal.

Reopening the miraa market

"I want to assure miraa farmers that all is not lost. The trade deal was not signed on Tuesday as promised because the Somalia president was in Turkey. The two presidents intend to meet soon to sign the deal," Mr Munya said.

He said there was no doubt that Somalia has goodwill in reopening the miraa market.

Nyambene Miraa Trade Association Chairman Kimathi Munjuri said the re-opening of the market would inject more than Sh10 million into the Meru economy daily.

“The reopening of the Somalia market means so much to us. This is why we are very keen on its progress,” Mr Munjuri said.

Somalia suspended miraa imports in March 2020 citing Covid-19 restrictions before extending the ban in August the same year.

In the same year, Somalia approved importation of Ethiopian khat variety, sealing the fate for Kenyan traders.

Kenya was exporting up to 50 tonnes of miraa to Mogadishu daily.