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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Involve Meru in execution of miraa report, Munya tells state

Meru Governor Peter Munya at Gatimbi market in South Imenti on Tuesday / DENNIS DIBONDO
Meru Governor Peter Munya at Gatimbi market in South Imenti on Tuesday / DENNIS DIBONDO

Meru Governor Peter Munya has said the county should be involved in the implementation of recommendations in the miraa report.

He accused the national government of running a one-man show.

“We asked, but our request was declined. We are waiting to be informed about the modalities of the implementation. We are ready, but will not force the national government to involve us if it is not interested,” Munya said.

He spoke on Tuesday at Gatimbi, South Imenti, where he opened a market stall constructed by the county.

Munya faulted the Agriculture ministry for “just handing out reports”.

“Handing out a copy of recommendations is not enough because it does not offer solutions. We are not in charge of the funds. We want to be involved in planning and implementation, even though we were not involved in producing of the report,” he said.

Munya added, “It’s not too late to involve us. There are many stakeholders, including traders and farmers, who want to be involved.”

Speaking separately, Meru woman representative Florence Kajuju said the Sh1 billion set aside for miraa farmers should be given to Meru county alone, not shared with Embu and Tharaka Nithi.

Miraa task force chairman Geoffrey M’mwenda presented the report to Meru speaker Joseph Kaberia on Tuesday.

Kaberia said the report will be shared with MCAs and the Agriculture committee.

He said the assembly will oversee the implementation of the findings.

“If need be, we will come up with legislation so the recommendations are implemented successfuly,” Kaberia said.

The task force recommended value addition to encourage countries to lift the ban on it.

“We are thinking of packaging miraa in a way to prevent wastage. There is no need of exporting miraa with leaves which are thrown away. This might be the reason why it was banned,” M’Mwenda said.

He said there are heaps of garbage in countries to which miraa is exported.

M’Mwenda said miraa farmers should organise themselves into small groups to gain access to credit.

Meru is the the largest producer of miraa in Kenya.

Embu produces mogoka, while Tharaka Nithi produces miraa on a small-scale basis.

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