Khat Importers Halt Business Over Price Rise
High cost of Khat from Kenyan farms has affected the Somali market with traders boycotting to import the narcotic twigs. The prices of Khat which is a popular pass time in the Horn of Africa country has shot up on the streets of the capital Mogadishu. Khat importers in Puntland held a press conference on Wednesday saying they had halted the daily importation of the commodity in Garowe, Galkaayo and Bossaso from Thursday. The importers cite high prices and poor quality of the twigs. “I am now buying Khat at 10 to 12 dollars the amount I used to buy at 6 dollars” a Mahmud Mahdy a security guard in Mogadishu told Radio Dalsan. Farmers in Kenya blame the high prices on the drought experienced in the East African country due to failure of the rain which led to low yields. The exporters called on the Ministry of Agriculture to intervene the issue and added that they will remain out of business until the matter is solved. Somalia is the largest importer of Kenyan Khat.