Increasing Miraa and Muguka consumption among residents of West Pokot has prompted traders and consumers in the region to want to try a fortune in its farming.
The consumers who have kept on surging in numbers in towns and even rural areas has caused supply shortages since the commodity is usually transported all the way from Meru and Embu Counties.
Chepareria Market is leading in the consumption of Miraa explicitly with the presence of an area within the urban centre specifically dealing in the selling of Miraa and Muguka with benches provided for users to have comfort.
Bonface Yego, a vendor at the market told KNA that sometimes he runs out of Miraa stock hence wishing farmers in the region can opt to engage in farming of the plant.
“At times we run shot of the stock because users, who are both young and old, have increased. Our clients normally get annoyed whenever they miss getting Miraa in our shops,” Yego narrated.
Another trader, Mary Chesugut says she receives 10 kilograms of Miraa every day at a cost of Sh500 per kilogram which fetches her a profit of Sh2, 000 and she is pondering increasing the daily stock owing to the high demand.
The traders feel if they can get Miraa seedlings, they are willing to venture into its farming to help balance the shifting demand and supply of the commodity experienced in the area.
“If we can get quality Miraa seedling, we will be ready to plant it to help supplement the shifting demand and supply of the commodity that we normally experience that affects our clients,’’ pointed out Mohamed Saleh.
Chepareria Miraa traders said they have a supplier who makes his trips daily using a pickup from Meru County to West Pokot through to Turkana County.
They argued that the local market is increasing and with time it will exceed the foreign market which is unreliable owing to the bans being imposed.
A regular Miraa consumer Isaac Amanat, 65, said he has never experienced any health problems despite having chewed the khat for many years.
The traders and the consumers said that they are not interested in maize farming anymore due to its low income as they look forward to growing cash crops that would make them have money in their pockets within a short period.
By Anthony Melly