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Miraa farmers urge govt to lift ban

06 June 2012, 12:40 Anthony Muriuki

Miraa farmers have petitioned the government to intervene and lift of the ban imposed against miraa trading in both Netherland and Tanzania in a bid to curb the current market crisis facing the product.

The Nyambene Farmers said following the bumper harvest experienced during this rainy season most of the produce is going stale due to lack of a reliable market which has led to traders and farmers incurring huge loses.

Led by the Nairobi College of Architectural Engineering Dean Professor Ezekiel Gichungie, the farmers said the Netherland government banned miraa trading into their country alleging that miraa traders are involved in money laundering with some of the proceeds going to support terrorist popularly known as the Shabab.

“We dispute the allegations because we are sure nobody from the Meru community is involved in any money laundering what we are urging the government is to intervene and ensure the barn is lifted in order to boost the living standards of the farmers.” said Prof Gichunge.

The don who has already declared his interest in contesting for the Meru county governor’s seat regretted the high yields have led to high supply of miraa causing the demand to go down drastically.

He appealed to the government to confer with the Tanzanian government to allow miraa to be exported in the country and also negotiate with other countries in East and Central African to open more markets.

“Miraa is a cash crop just like tea, tobacco, coffee and wheat so it should be accepted on the grounds that it’s not a drug but a source of income to this nation,” said the lecturer.

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