, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 9 – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has acted urgently to take up the matter on the miraa ban imposed on Kenya early this week, and is engaging the Somalia Government on the matter.
Speaking at a press briefing, Spokesman Erick Kiraithe said that the government recognises that the ban carries severe social economic implications for many farmers.
“Our Head of State is also seized of the matter,” said Kiraithe. “As a country, we were surprised by the ban, we did not expect it, but we are now working towards a diplomatic solution,” he stated.
This follows an appeal by the Kenya Miraa Farmers and Traders Association to the government to urgently step in and open up the only market that was remaining after the UK issued a similar ban.
Dave Muthuri, the chairman of the Kenya Miraa Farmers and Traders Association on Tuesday said more than 10 tonnes of khat that was ready for export was stuck in Meru and Nairobi.
Somalia announced Monday that it had banned miraa imports from Kenya, warning that “any violation on Somali airspace and disregard of the notice will have equal consequences.”
No immediate reasons were given.
Government spokesman Kiraithe has however assured that the government is handling the ban as a matter of urgency stating that any new developments will be quickly communicated.
“The miraa task force formed to look into the UK ban is looking for alternative ways as well working with the affected farmers,” he said.
“We are making efforts to protect this trade, not forgetting that we have a number of citizens who enjoy this product,” Kiraithe noted.