Somali traders, large market for Kenyan miraa, have boycotted importing the commodity after a diplomatic dispute between the neighboring countries.
This, they claim is in solidarity with their country, as they have shifted to Ethiopia for khat.
In the past weekend, the Kenyan government recalled its tops envoy from Mogadishu and expelled the Somali ambassador from Nairobi after allegations of Somalia auctioning off gas and oil reserves in disputed maritime territories.
According to Nyambene Miraa Traders Association, the miraa trade is expected to deteriorate as the Somali dealers perceive the business to be an easy target in case of a conflict between the two countries.
It is estimated that Somali traders import approximately 50,000Kg of Miraa daily from Kenya marking them as the largest market for the product.
“On Monday we had only four flights that took Miraa to Somalia instead of the normal 20 plus that go on a typical day,” said Kimathi Munjuri the association’s spokesman.
He urged the Miraa task force to scavenge for new market as they highly perishable goods are wasting away in the easter part of the country.
Moreover, the commodity is also facing another challenge of anti-khat campaigners heighten the drive to have the stimulant banned in Somalia.