In Meru County, the most common economic activity revolves around Miraa. Khat is for consumption and it is harvested from trees as young twigs or branches. The twigs are normally tender and miraa users chew the outer cover or the bark of the twigs. The bark is bitter but for those who like the product, the bitter taste is associated with quality.
This plant is so important in the Meru community that it has been inculcated in most aspects culture, traditions, and customs of the Ameru. A certain type of this plant, mostly from the aged trees is only chewed by the elders and is considered a sign of ultimate respect if an elder offers a young man a taste of this type of ‘khat’ which is commonly referred to as Nchooro
Meru County Customs
In the traditional Ameru households, a young man seeking a hand of marriage of a daughter from that household would present a bunch of this type of Miraa to the elders. If he were accepted, he would be called to chew briefly with the elders and if he is rejected, the bunch of Miraa is returned to him.
Due to its high perishability, it’s not uncommon to encounter fast-driven Miraa pickup trucks delivering Miraa to various markets within the country as far as Mombasa as well as after harvest Nairobi’s Wilson and Jomo Kenya International Airport for export to Somalia, Arabian Peninsula and Europe.