With the renewed diplomatic tussle between Kenya and neighboring Somalia, the Miraa trade has in recent days suffered a major blow, with no exports to the commodity’s largest market.
Farmers can however sigh with a little relief after Agriculture CS Peter Munya today met a delegation from the Republic of Somaliland in efforts to open up alternative markets to benefit Miraa farmers.
Led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Kayd Essa, the delegation discussed other trade partnership areas such as livestock and other agricultural products.
Early this year, a diplomatic stalemate saw Somalia cut diplomatic ties with Kenya, accusing it of interference. The neighboring country had stopped the importation of miraa when international flights were suspended in March last year due to fear of the spread of Covid-19.
However, even with the resumption of international air travels in August, miraa from Kenya was restricted while that from Ethiopia, a slightly different variety, was allowed into Somalia.
The continued restrictions were attributed to a spat between Kenya and Somalia dating as far back as 2016 when Munya caused a stir by visiting Somaliland and offering to push for its recognition as an independent state if it allowed miraa from Kenya into its markets.
Somalia responded by accusing Mr. Munya of attempting to break up the volatile country. The ban was, however, lifted following discussions at diplomatic level until restrictions over Covid-19 outbreak.
But with the ongoing border spat among other accusations between the two countries, tensions between Somalia and Kenya have increased.
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