The government is exploring new options for Miraa after running into problems with Somalia, a key market in the region.
Speaking during the launch of Meru County Micro and Small Enterprises Post Covid-19 Recovery Strategy, Industrialisation, Trade and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina said the Government of Kenya is working closely with the Djibouti Government which might be the next country to allow Miraa exports from Kenya.
“And we have to look for other markets too but at an advanced stage is a visit to Djibouti, said Ms Maina. “We have established a committee to work within the ministry to search for other markets for fresh miraa.”
She added that of urgency will be establishing a Miraa Value addition chain where the crop can be processed instead of selling the perishable raw produce.
Industrialisation and Trade CAS David Osiany who accompanied the CS also noted that after they successfully secure the Djibouti market, they would also move to Mozambique and assured the farmers that the crop will get back to the international market.
Osiany told Meru residents that they are still negotiating with the Somalia government to lift the ban on Miraa from Kenya while also casting the net for alternative markets.
Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi said attempts for miraa value addition were being hindered by the Kenya Bureau of Standards who have not issued licenses for Miraa products such as wines, sweets, chewing gum despite the products being availed to them for certification.
Kiraitu said that a lot of research has been done on Miraa and many products made but Kebs has been reluctant to certify them and asked the CS to intervene.
He added that since the Somalia market was closed, miraa farmers have been hit hard thus need for the national government to move with speed in search for other markets.