Nairobi's farmers fight for right to sell 'khat'

Meru, Kenya, March 17 - Kenya's government and khat farmers are still fighting a UK ban on importing the drug. Traders and farmers are losing millions of US dollars a year because of the ban. Video: eNCA
Kenya - Khat farming in Kenya's Meru County is crucial for the economy and for families. The drug has been farmed in the region for generations. Video: eNCA
PHOTO_KENKHAT_08 Photo: eNCA
PHOTO_KENKHAT_07 Photo: eNCA
PHOTO_KENKHAT_06 Photo: eNCA
PHOTO_KENKHAT_05 Photo: eNCA
PHOTO_KENKHAT_04 Photo: eNCA

Nairobi - Kenya's government and khat farmers are still fighting a UK ban on exporting the plant into the region.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Catha edulis or 'khat' is a plant that if consumed, has several different effects. "The major effects include those on the gastro-intestinal system and on the nervous system," says the group's official website. The effects include "increased alertness, dependence, tolerance and psychiatric symptoms". The WHO banned the plan after classifying it as a drug that could produce mild-to-moderate dependence.

As eNCA's East Africa Correspondent Soni Methu discovered, khat is the heart-blood of Nairobi's economy. Traders and farmers in the city have reported losing millions of US dollars a year since the ban was put into place.

Now, traders are worried that the UK's concerned about the drug's effects may further impede their financial reward from selling it.  Watch this report in the gallery above and view pictures, too.

eNCA

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