The national government should open new miraa markets outside Kenya such as the Congo, Meru Governor Peter Munya has said.
Speaking to the press in Meru town on Friday, he praised the state for resuming direct flights to Somalia as it will open more miraa markets in the region.
“We also commend the efforts of bringing stability to the country as we will benefit as Meru because the miraa trade has had limited markets,” Munya said.
He said miraa has few markets outside Kenya and the government should get alternative markets after The Netherlands and the UK banned export of the plant in 2012 and 2014, respectively.
“I remember I was criticised for going to Somaliland to source for new markets. I was told it is not my job to talk to foreign countries to open markets. I was doing it because I saw it is not being done, so since I stopped doing it who has made any efforts to open the market and talk to the government of Somaliland to reduce tariffs for miraa?” Munya said.
He dismissed a new study by the University of Nairobi and University of Konstanz, Germany, that says miraa causes serious mental problems.
The report contradicts the Sh38 million Kenya Medical Research Institute study that found that miraa does not cause any health problems.