Kenyatta appoints 14-member taskforce on miraa

Friday June 17 2016

Kenyan miraa (khat) traders sorting their

Kenyan miraa (khat) traders sorting their produce from their farms and awaiting consumers in a market in Nairobi. FILE  

By PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta has appointed a 14 member taskforce on the development of the miraa industry, after a controversial export ban in European markets that left farmers with excess stock.

The taskforce has three months to complete its assignment, according to a gazette notice published on Friday.

Mr Geoffrey Nchooro M’mwenda will chair the task force with PS Dr Richard Leresian Lesiyampe as the alternate chairperson.

Mr Dave Ntawa Muthuri is the vice chairperson of the task force that has been gazetted today.

In consultation with farmers, traders and relevant stakeholders, the team will suggest ways to ensure recovery of lost markets and search for new markets for miraa produce.

Other tasks of the taskforce include research on miraa agronomy, variety improvement, product development and value addition.

The team will also identify opportunities for the development of capacity among farmers including identification and establishment of demonstration farms.

The members of the team include Mr Mweria Joseph Miriti, Kinyua Geoffrey John, Kilemi Lucy Nkirote, Rimbere Peter Kinyua and Karumpu R. Rodgers are some of the members of the miraa task force.

Others are, Henry Ntongai Ituuru, Hon. Joseph Mturia, Solomon Odera, Isabella Nkonge , Ephantus I. Njeru and George Karicha Thuranira.

The joint secretaries of the task force are Jasper Mbiuki and Philip Nyingi.

The Secretariat of the task force is within the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries – Kilimo House.

The gazette notice also requires the task force to suggest institutional and administrative structures for the miraa value chain and additional farming enterprises for the Miraa farmers. READ: British chamber to lobby against miraa ban

To ensure immediate implementation of the report the taskforce will also develop and attach a prioritized implementation matrix clearly stating the immediate, medium and long term strategies for the development of miraa.