Kenya has exported miraa worth Sh1 billion to Somalia in under a month since the resumption of trade coming as a major reprieve to growers who had been hit hard when Mogadishu imposed a ban in 2019.
Head of Miraa Pyrethrum and other Industrial Crops Felix Mutwiri says the country has so far exported 375 tonnes of the stimulant in the last three weeks.
Earnings were, however, slowed down by caps on the tonnage that Kenya is allowed to export to Somalia. Previously, Nairobi was allowed to sell 40 tonnes every day but currently can only ship a maximum of 19 tonnes in the same period.
“We have so far exported 375,000 kilogrammes (375 tonnes) since we resumed exports on July 24,” said Mr Mutwiri.
The directorate has licensed nearly 48 traders for export of the commodity under the new miraa laws. Anyone who exports the crop without registration and a license is liable to a sentence of up to three years or a fine of up to Sh5 million under the new regulation.
The directorate started issuing export licenses to miraa traders in July after bilateral talks between Kenya and Somali presidents resolved a long-standing trade tiff.
A kilogramme of miraa in Somali is now going for $23 (Sh2,730), which is still lower when compared to the $25 that it fetched before the market was closed.
Kenya is facing competition for the Somalia market from Ethiopia, which has been supplying miraa after Kenya was locked out.
Nyambene Miraa Trade Association (Nyamita) Chairman Kimathi Munjuri called on the government to intervene so that the volumes of exported miraa could be increased from the current 19 tonnes a day.
Traders have been relying on the local market over the last three years after Mogadishu banned export of the stimulant following a diplomatic row between Kenya and Somalia.