The Miraa Economy

Posted on May 15, 2010


The World Health Organization declared Miraa as a drug of abuse that can cause mild psychological dependencies in 1980. Luckily for the millions of Kenyans that enjoy the plant/shrubs, it is a much legal source of a little everyday indulgence. The thing that stands out in my mind about miraa are the crazily driven pick up trucks that emerge out of Meru (the heart of East Africa’s Miraa economy) carrying to every other Kenyan town hour by hour. I also once heard some ladies complaining on the radio that something should be done about their miraa chewing husbands’ bad behavior of chewing their nights away and never coming to spend time with them. Anyways, that is beside the point.

I think we all agree that Miraa is an integral part of Kenya’s economy and a lot of people build their lives around it. How about we follow Mzee Abdi’s lead (see video below) and turn the plains of North Kenya into Miraa Fields. We would be killing more than one bird with one stone. One, introduce a different source of livelihood for the people of North Kenya, two, we would have a lot of happy people there, just farming and chewing miraa all day long, without all the fighting that they have been perfecting all these years. I mean, could they really buy guns and fight over  miraa like they do over cows?