AgricultureThird Eye

CS Linturi to gazette Miraa and Muguka pricing committee amid Coastal Governors’ defiance

By Harun Mugambi

Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi has unveiled plans to gazette a pricing committee for Miraa and Muguka. This committee will play a crucial role in regulating prices and bringing much-needed organization to the endangered sector.

In a recent interview with a local media outlet in Meru, Linturi expressed concern about the serious threats Miraa and Muguka farmers face in Meru and Embu.

He emphasized the importance of dialogue, particularly among Meru leaders who, he believes, lack unity-a factor undermining his efforts to advocate for these crops.

Linturi also highlighted the necessity of departing from the status quo. He stressed the value of adding to Muguka and Miraa, envisioning their use as additives in energy drinks and other beverages. As the standoff with coastal governors persists, the fate of these crops hangs in the balance.

 “We need to shift from the way things are normally done, our people need to know times are changing and we cannot continue chewing miraa, value addition to the crop is the only way to go so that miraa can be used as an additive in energy drinks and other beverages,” he said.

These sentiments come shortly after Meru University of Science and Technology showcased their miraa wine and juice prototypes at the Meru National Show exhibition. Dr. Patrick Kinyua Kubai leads the miraa juice project, while Professor Joshua Arimi heads the miraa wine initiative. Both projects focus on extensive research for Miraa and Muguka value addition.

Senator Linturi has emphasized the need for an organized framework within the sector, alluding to an upcoming meeting involving leaders from Meru, Kirinyaga, Embu, and the Coastal region. The purpose of this meeting is to address the challenges related to Khat.

However, despite Linturi’s call, the coastal governors have taken a defiant stance, declaring they will not attend. They argue that Linturi’s position is biased and insist on meeting with the president directly.

In a statement issued on June 4, the ‘Jumuiya ya Kaunti za Pwani’ highlighted the adverse impact of miraa/Muguka sales on health, security, and the economy in their Counties.

The ongoing battle over Miraa and Muguka continues as coastal governors stand firm in their defiance arguing that the mentioned crops contain active ingredients cathine and cathinone. The two crops have been at the center of controversy due to their classification under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance (Control) Act 1994.

Leaders, including those from the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA), emphasize that Miraa is currently labeled as a psychotropic substance because of its active components. This classification complicates matters further, especially as the Miraa and Muguka sectors face serious threats.

Miraa stimulant ready for consumption

The survival and prosperity of these sectors hinge on unity and cooperation among stakeholders.

CS Linturi’s push for the gazetting of a pricing committee adds urgency to the situation. However, the coastal governors remain resolute in their refusal to comply. Only time will reveal their next move in this high-stakes standoff

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