Kenya Miraa traders can breathe a sigh of relief after the Somalia government has lifted a two-year ban on miraa export.
This comes following diplomatic talks between President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Somali’s new president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud yesterday.
Announcing the new measures, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said the export of miraa would begin in two weeks’ time when the two heads of State will sign a formal trade agreement.
“Negotiations were completed. What’s remaining is just finalizing the paperwork so that the business resumes but we have a surety that within two weeks trading of Miraa and other products will resume in the Somali market,” he said.
Additionally, direct flights between the two countries would also resume from next Tuesday in a move that would enable the crop to be flown directly from Isiolo airport.
Munya lauded President Kenyatta for spearheading the talks that have seen the revival of the trade.
Somalia suspended miraa imports from Kenya two years ago, on March 19, 2020, citing Covid-19 restrictions but the suspension was never lifted as diplomatic issues kicked in.
The ban led to a loss of a daily market for more than 50 tons of khat valued at more than Sh20 million then.
Somalia replaced the Kenyan khat with the Ethiopian variety after Mogadishu entered ‘a balance of trade deal’ in June last year that enables the Horn of Africa country to sell its fish to Ethiopia.