The Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) Chairman, Cornelly Serem, has announced that Kenya will commence exporting Miraa to Israel. After an extensive six-month search for potential buyers in the Middle East market, the decision marks a significant milestone for Kenya’s agricultural exports.
Chairman Serem emphasized the strategic importance of this move, stating, “This will form part of the diversification of the country’s existing exports to Israel as Kenya seeks ways to fill at least one cargo flight to the Middle Eastern state.”
Israel’s inclusion as a key Miraa market alongside countries such as Puntland in Somalia, Somaliland, Mozambique, and Angola underscores the growing global demand for the stimulant plant.
Kimathi Munjuri, Chairman of the Nyambene Miraa Farmers and Traders Association, expressed optimism about the new market, affirming, “Israel has long been a crucial target market for Kenyan Miraa farmers, and this development brings a sense of relief after facing challenges in other markets.”
This breakthrough comes after Kenya’s Miraa farmers encountered setbacks due to over-reliance on just two markets, with the United Kingdom banning the product in 2014 and Somalia imposing a ban in 2017.
Despite the challenges, the resumption of trade relations with Somalia has not fully satisfied the demand for Miraa, prompting Kenya to seek new opportunities in the Middle East.