Miraa traders now want the government to help them access the Djibouti market, as they export eight tonnes within two weeks.
Nyambene Miraa traders association have recorded in a statement appealing to the Kenyan government to aid them in accessing the Djibouti market, as they can ferry three and five tonnes in the first and second flights respectively.
Flights have been stopped by Djibouti buyers, saying they need to inspect Miraa farms and handling standards and meet the traders to meet the need for the supply.
“We were expecting a delegation of six from the Horn of Africa nation last Monday, but they did not make it. They were to be drawn from the top three khat buyers in the country,” said Kimathi Munjuri, the lobby chairman.
Djibouti buyers prefer long-term contracts of up to five years, unlike the Somali market the traders stated.
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Djibouti is a small country than Somalia thus the traders will require more market for miraa given the volatility of the Somali market and it can also be a fallback plan.
“It would also come in handy in mopping up surpluses during seasons of favorable weather when we get bumper harvests,” said Kimathi.
Djibouti alongside Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Israel, and Swaziland were identified among the countries where new markets could be explored as they have no laws outlawing miraa consumption, the export flights were an initiative of the traders.
Djibouti’s previous market was Ethiopia but there is distress due to the ongoing war in Ethiopia, the Ethiopians deployed a minister to Djibouti after the first flight from Kenya said Munjuri.
Meanwhile, the traders said a contentious commission on exports to Somalia was still being levied even after President William Ruto promised to intervene.