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

Nairobi - Kenya&39;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 &39;khat&39; 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&39;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&39;s East Africa Correspondent Soni Methu discovered, khat is the heart-blood of Nairobi&39;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&39;s concerned about the drug&39;s effects may further impede their financial reward from selling it.  Watch this report in the gallery above and view pictures, too.