One of the cannabis buyers, United States Cannabis Association (Usca), has hinted that one hectare of cannabis could fetch up to K180 million from an investment of around K25 million to K30 million on a hectare.
The cannabis buyer said the cost analysis is based on prices sourced from countries such as Lesotho which is doing well with the crop.
Usca Director of Operations Oliver Ndhlovu said, if properly cultivated, farmers could produce around eight to 10 tonnes of cannabis per hectare and get around $5,000 per kilogramme.
Ndhlovu made the remarks on Tuesday in Mzimba District during a land verification exercise of cannabis fields of cooperatives, companies and partnerships who have registered to plant the crop this year.
“We are doing our own analysis as Malawi. We are working with Cannabis Regulatory Authority (CRA), Ministry of Agriculture and Invergro, which is an experienced company dealing with cannabis,” he said.
Figures show that, for one hectare, farmers require K8.8 million for a packet of 20,000 seeds.
On the onset, farmers require cultivation, processing or transportation lincence, police clearance, a greenhouse at the farm, reliable water source, labour and security plan that would prevent access to industrial hemp premises by unauthorised persons.
Meanwhile, some farmers have started raising fears over what they describe as stiff regulations in the cultivation of the leaf.
One of the farmers, Paul Chongwe, who is Chairperson of the United Organic Producers Cooperative, said most farmers were still not aware how much the commodity could be fetching.
The cooperative has 105 members, three farms, with 155 cumulative hectares.
“We are also still looking at what a hectare might bring in terms of rewards. But since the crop is new in Malawi, we hope that the figures we are getting from other countries will be a benchmark for us,” he said.
Malawi legalised cultivation of industrial and medicinal Cannabis Sativa in July 2020 which saw the establishment of CRA to regulate the cannabis industry as provided for in the Cannabis Regulation Act 2020.