NAIROBI (SD) – Over one hundred khat traders and farmers in Meru region have urged Kenyan parliamentarian to press the government to engage with Somalia in restoration of khat importation.
A petition by the khat SACCO and traders to the parliament through Igembe South MP John Mwirigi, said farmers do not have a single significant market for the crop outside Kenya.
“When Somalia reopened its borders for international travel, the government permitted entry of other crops with the exclusion of miraa,” the petition said.
The traders said that the Ministry of Agriculture, according Section 8 of Crops Act, has the responsibility to source for markets for the crop.
“The Miraa Taskforce Implementation Technical Team identified prospective markets such as Djibouti, Mozambique, Yemen, Israel, and DRC but the matter has not been followed up,” the traders said.
Last May, Somalia maintained the ban on khat imports from Kenya stands despite resumption of diplomatic ties.
The country’s Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) directed to all operators that the government’s ban on the leafy stimulant is still in force.
Somalia banned imports of khat from Kenya last year following the collapse of relations between the two countries.
Kenya has unsuccessfully sought to have the ban lifted but Mogadishu has stood ground against the requests. Khat from Ethiopia could still enter Somalia.