Kenya exported miraa with a value of) Sh. 221 million in the first four days following the reopening of the Somalia market to Kenyans.
According to the head of Miraa Pyrethrum and other Industrial Crops Felix Mutwiri, Kenya exported 81.4 tonnes of miraa to Mogadishu within one weekend.
Mutwiri said that 19 traders out of the 22 that had applied for export permits had been cleared even as more traders have sought clearance to get the licences.
“We have so far exported 81.4 tonnes in the last four days and we expect the volumes to grow in the next coming days as more people are cleared to ship out the commodity,” he said.
The directorate started issuing last week after they were cleared under the new regulations.
Currently, any trader who exports miraa without registration and a licence is liable for a sentence of up to three years or a fine of up to Sh. 5 million.
A kilo of miraa to Somalia is now going for $23 (Sh. 2,734), which is still lower when compared with the $25 (Sh. 2,972) that it fetched before the market was stopped.
Nyambene Miraa Trade Association (Nyamita) chairman Kimathi Munjuri said there is enough crop in the farms to meet the market.
“We have a lot of miraa right now in the farmers and we can meet the market demand in Somalia,” said Munjuri.
Traders have been relying on local market in the last three years after Khartoum banned export of the stimulant following a diplomatic row between the two countries.
The move saw Kenya embark on scouting for a new market in Djibouti to save farmers who rely on the crop as their main economic mainstay.
Following the reopening, Kenya will be facing off with Ethiopia which has been exporting the crop after Kenya was locked out.