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Cannabis Regulatory Authority, farmers differ on cannabis markets

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Cannabis Regulatory Authority (CRA) has asked farmers that are keeping their harvest to explore the local market, rating it as equally profitable.

CRA Chief Executive Officer Ketulo Salipira said their office has received many reports from farmers that foreign buyers are too demanding.

Salipira said the country has companies that use cannabis as raw materials to produce products that have demand on the local markets.

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He said despite exporting the produce being more profitable than selling locally, farmers are not supposed to wait for a single market, which may take a long time before selling.

“If you noticed something at this year’s trade fair, there were many products produced from cannabis. This means there is a market even within the country. Let our farmers sell their produce to such companies. They will still make more profits than banking on foreign markets which have many demands,” Salipira said.

He then revealed that the country has failed to start exporting cannabis this month as expected, saying the two companies which secured the market abroad are still submitting samples to the potential buyers.

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However, one of the farmers, Mwakwenda Chunga, said CRA is doing injustice to the farmers.

Chunga, who claims to have invested over K100 million in the farming in Mchinji, said, before farmers ventured into cannabis farming, the government through CRA pledged to secure markets in countries like United States of America, Brazil and Canada among others.

He further said farmers are keeping huge quantities of cannabis in their homes.

Chunga said many farmers will not plant more cannabis this year as expected, adding that lack of proper market is one of the contributing factors.

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