First cargo flight ferrying miraa leaves for Mogadishu

Miraa exports Somalia

A miraa trader showcasing the commodity. The first cargo flight carrying miraa left for Mogadishu Sunday July 24.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The first cargo flight carrying miraa left for Mogadishu Sunday morning a week after President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Somalia counterpart Hassan Mahmoud agreed on resumption of trade.

The resumption of the miraa exports comes amid concerns that the Somalia Civil Aviation Authority was yet to give official communication on khat flights.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said “the miraa cargo plane has taken off to Mogadishu this morning”.

Nyambene Miraa Trade Association (Nyamita) chairman Kimathi Munjuri said they had exported five tonnes to ‘test the waters’.

“It is true that the first cargo flight left today morning. We are, however, calling for formal communication from Somali authorities on resumption of miraa cargo flights,” Mr Munjuri said.

He lauded the government for putting in effort to ensure the directive which was issued a week ago is implemented.

An official in the Ministry of Agriculture said the resumption of miraa trade had been delayed because importers from Somalia were seeking clearance.

“The importers had to get landing rights in Somalia. They also needed licenses from this end. This is what caused the delay,” the official said while confirming that the Aviation authority in Somalia was yet to give official communication on cargo flights.

Earlier, Nyamita had accused the ministry of delays in giving export licenses to miraa traders.

However, the Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) has said 22 exporters have since received temporary export licenses.

Mr Munjuri called on miraa aggregators and transporters to seek relevant approvals from AFA to ensure the trade adheres to the new Crops (Miraa) Regulations 2022.