Miraa farmers in Meru County’s Igembe region are being encouraged to explore crop diversification as a strategy to reduce their reliance on miraa, which is currently facing challenges including market bans. Jeremiah Mithika, the head of the agriculture department in Igembe South sub-county, stressed the importance of integrating other crops alongside miraa to mitigate market volatility and enhance economic stability in the region.

Mithika highlighted the risks associated with overreliance on miraa, emphasizing the need for farmers to explore alternative high-value farming activities. He pointed out that ventures like apiculture (beekeeping), dairy farming, and poultry farming have shown potential for sustainability due to the high demand for their products. Dairy farming, in particular, was highlighted for its profitability and resilience to market fluctuations compared to miraa.

Encouraging miraa farmers to diversify their crops, Mithika suggested incorporating crops such as mangoes, avocados, vegetables, and macadamia to ensure a consistent income stream. He emphasized the importance of meeting life’s demands regardless of market conditions, advocating for alternative means of income generation beyond miraa cultivation.

The call for crop diversification comes amidst challenges facing the miraa market, including periodic bans and fluctuations in demand. By exploring alternative farming ventures, miraa farmers can safeguard their livelihoods and contribute to the economic resilience of the region.