As high prices in Kenya drive them to give up the local crop, Miraa dealers have moved to Ethiopia as a source market for the stimulant, where they are purchasing nearly half of the quota allotted for the Somali market.
The traders asserted that they source at least 40% of the 19 tonnes from Ethiopia that the Somali market has permitted businesspeople from Kenya to sell to Mogadishu, depriving Kenya of millions of shillings in revenue.
A charge of $4.5 (Sh548) is paid by traders for each kilogram of miraa that is exported from Kenya to Somalia. According to Kimathi Munjuri, head of Nyambene Miraa Trade Association (Nyamita), it is no longer feasible for businesses to continue obtaining the stimulant locally.
As a result of the high expense of conducting business locally, at least 7% of the overall quota allotted to the Somali market by Kenyan traders is being purchased in Ethiopia, he claimed.