Kenyan Miraa exporters have shifted to Ethiopia as a source market for the stimulant, where they are buying nearly half of the allocated quota for the Somali market as high costs in Kenya force them to abandon the local crop.
The traders said they procure at least 40% 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.
Miraa exporters are paying a commission of $4.5 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 miraa exporters are also paying $5 as airfreight and handling charges per kilo once the consignment is delivered to Mogadishu.
By October, Kenya’s miraa exports to Somalia had earned the country KES 4 billion in three months since the resumption of sales of the stimulant to the Horn of Africa nation in July this year.
Head of Miraa, Pyrethrum and other Industrial Crops Felix Mutwiri says by October, Kenya had so far exported 1.4 million kilogrammes of miraa after the two countries resolved an earlier tiff.