UK miraa ban there to stay, UK envoy says
British High Commissioner to Kenya Nic Hailey on Saturday dealt a blow to miraa farmers after announcing that the United Kingdom’s ban on the mild stimulant would not be lifted.
Instead, the UK envoy said his government would initiate efforts to assist miraa farmers seek alternative livelihoods after receiving report from the task force appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Speaking when he paid a courtesy call to Meru County Commissioner Wilfred Nyagwanga and the Deputy Governor Raphael Muriungi, Hailey said the law banning the stimulant crop from UK was passed by Parliament and is there to stay.
“That ban is going to last for a while. We are sensitive to the producing region. We await the task force’s report then we will sit down and analyze it and work with others to help farmers,” he said, adding that his government will help farmers improve agricultural produce in Meru.
However, Meru Deputy Governor Raphael Muriungi said that miraa is the backbone of the region and the ban has led to huge losses for miraa farmers.
“It (ban) is a big issue and since Britain is a friendly nation, we would like it to rescue our farmers,” Muriungi said.
The British envoy was touring the region to launch an electric fence around the Imenti Forest to ward off elephants that have killed over 20 residents and destroyed crops in the region over the last two years.
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