Team confident of regaining miraa market - Daily Nation

Team confident of regaining miraa market

Wednesday September 21 2016

A miraa farmer hawks his harvest at a local open air market at Maua, in Meru county on September 9, 2016. A taskforce set up to look into problems facing the miraa trade says it is confident Kenya will regain the European market. PHOTO | AFP

A miraa farmer hawks his harvest at a local open air market at Maua, in Meru county on September 9, 2016. A taskforce set up to look into problems facing the miraa trade says it is confident Kenya will regain the European market. PHOTO | AFP  

By DAVID MUCHUI
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A taskforce set up to look into problems facing the miraa trade says it is confident Kenya will regain the European market if farmers meet export conditions.

Speaking at a meeting with Meru County Assembly members, taskforce chairman Mwenda Nchooro said the stimulant is restricted and not banned in Tanzania, the Netherlands and United Kingdom.

He said the Netherlands and the UK set conditions that exporters had to meet before it is allowed in the market.

“Miraa was never banned in Tanzania, UK and Netherlands but is restricted. The taskforce will establish the set conditions so that farmers can meet them. Some of them include hygiene and chemical levels,” Mr Nchooro said.

He also said miraa was not clearly listed in the export tariff, making it difficult to access international markets. “Khat is listed as fresh twigs during export,” he said.

IMPROVE MANAGEMENT

The MCAs said the establishment of a cooperative, a board and enactment of laws would help improve management, production and marketing of miraa.

Agriculture Committee chairman Kaumbuthu Chabari said the Sh1 million allocated by the government to revive the miraa sector should be used as a seed fund to set up a sacco.

The taskforce ended its Meru meetings on Tuesday and is set to engage consumers in Nairobi and Mombasa, among other parts of the country.

Meanwhile, two experts have been sent to Meru to do research on pests and diseases affecting miraa.

This is after farmers complained to the taskforce over lack of appropriate pesticides and chemicals to fight the pests. Some of the diseases and pests include rust that affects leaves as well as nematodes and moles that affect roots.