Kenya Khat Traders source Product from Ethiopia for Somalia
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Kenya Khat Traders source Product from Ethiopia for Somalia

Kenya’s khat traders are now sourcing the product from neighbouring Ethiopia to export to Somalia.

The traders say it is becoming increasingly expensive for them to export the khat (miraa) from the Kenyan market because of the high demands from brokers and middlemen.

The traders said they procure at least 40 percent of the 19 tonnes that the Somali market has allowed Kenyan business people to export to Mogadishu from Ethiopia, denying Kenya millions of shillings in earnings.

Traders are paying a commission of $4.5 (Sh548) for every kilogramme of miraa that is exported to Somalia from Kenya. The money is collected by brokers at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi before they are allowed to export.

The exporters are also paying $5 (Sh609) as airfreight and handling charges per kilo once the consignment is delivered to Mogadishu.

Nyambene Miraa Trade Association (Nyamita) chairman Kimathi Munjuri said it has become untenable for traders to continue sourcing the stimulant locally.

“At least seven percent of the total allocated quota to the Somali market by Kenyan traders is being procured in Ethiopia as our business people avoid the high cost of doing business locally,” he said.

“Of the initial quota of 19 tonnes that we were allowed into Mogadishu on the reopening of the Somalia market for Kenya miraa, 40 percent is now coming from Ethiopia exported by Kenyan traders who have shifted base there.”

Miraa exports to Somalia hit Sh4 billion in three months to October since the country resumed selling the stimulant to the horn nation in July this year.