By Nep Journal Correspondent:
The recent threat by Government of Somalia to ban Miraa importation to her Country from Kenya has raised concern in the areas where the stimulant is grown.
Governor of Meru County Peter Munya in his Madaraka Day speech on Wednesday asked the Kenyan government to liaise with Somalia to ensure one of the biggest market for the stimulant was not lost just like the European market.
Munya said Miraa farmers were already reeling from the effects of the European ban and they could not afford to lose another key market – Somalia.
Here therefore called on the government to apply diplomatic pressure to have the ban in Europe lifted.
UK and Netherlands categorized the stimulant as a class C drug and imposed a ban on the stimulant popularly known as khat.
President Uhuru Kenyatta recently signed a bill that categorized the stimulant as a cash crop and announced a budgetary allocation of Kshs1 billion in April this year to cushion miraa farmers from the economic consequences of the European ban.
The Act also obligates the national government to establish mechanisms for promotion, production, distribution and marketing of miraa as a cash crop.
Kenya and Somalia have been embroiled in tugs of war in the recent past over maritime dispute, closure of Dadaab refugee camps and the latest threat by Somalia to ban miraa trade in her country.
The two countries however enjoy good relations with Kenyan forces serving in the African Union’s AMISOM mission.