By John Majau
Meru County Miraa Sacco has been officially launched.
The Sacco will champion the interest of miraa farmers locally and internationally.
The society will also enable farmers to save and receive loans for business expansion and financial stability.
Speaking in Maua town during the official launching of the Pioneer Sacco, leaders from the region regretted that previously many people who felt dissatisfied by the way miraa issues were being handled moved to court to stop the implementations of the miraa task force recommendations claiming that they were not consulted in advance.
Led by the County Governor Kiraitu Murungi, Senator Mithika Linturi, Igembe Central MP Kubai Iringo, his Tigania West counterpart John Mutunga and several ward representatives, they said miraa which earns the residents over Sh7 billion annually is a very sensitive issue which must be handled with care to ensure the sector does not stagnate in the future.
They added that the best way to end the perennial crisis in the miraa sector is by ensuring that all the stakeholders are involved in matters affecting the crop.
They also asked the miraa farmers and traders to embrace research in order to establish the zones and the type of soil best suited for the different miraa varieties in order to realise big benefits.
Governor Kiraitu said: “Farmers and traders should be involved in running the sector so as to avoid court cases that oppose any development project associated with the crop.”
He added that miraa is a sensitive issue as thousands directly or indirectly benefits from the multi-billion industry.
“Shun the culture of a single individual going around claiming that he represents the interest of the entire miraa dealers and instead embrace consultation and inclusivity in order to enable the industry prosper,” said the Governor.
Governor also asked residents to join organized and registered groups to enable them benefit financially from both the National and County governments, noting that it is not profitable for an individual to transport othe commodity to Nairobi or export it to foreign countries.
The move will enable them to start saving their funds and also attract funding from the Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) as well as County and National Governments,” said the Governor.
They also advised farmers to embrace research and value addition.