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Renewed calls for hemp cultivation

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By Rebecca Chimjeka:

Foreign nationals have started visiting the country on fact-finding missions related to the cultivation of Indian hemp for industrial purposes.

In 2015, President Peter Mutharika gave Invegrow Hemp Power Malawi the nod to embark on industrial hemp cultivation on trial basis.

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And, on the international scene, the government of Canada recently legalised the cultivation of Indian hemp for medical use.

Speaking after meeting a group of foreign nationals that is interested in investing in the country, Ntchisi North Member of Parliament (MP), Boniface Kadzamira, asked the government to consider legalising cultivation of all types of hemp in the country.

Kadzamira said investors are ready to invest in 50,000 thousand hectares of both industrial and some hemp verities that are cultivated for medical purposes.

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The country has all it can to grow hemp for both medical and industrial purposes. The government should emulate what some African countries are doing by putting some guidelines on the cultivation of such types of hemp,” Kadzamira said.

The call comes four years after the MP moved a motion in Parliament that would pave the way for cultivation of industrial hemp for trial purposes.

Graham Mackintosh, spokesperson for Green Quest Farmarceuticals, whose company is searching for 50,000 hectares in Africa, said Indian hemp is on high demand in Europe.

“It’s high time the Malawi government considered legalising the type of hemp that World Health Organisation has approved to shore up foreign exchange earnings as well as support the national export strategy and priority sectors of the government,” Mackintosh said.

But Secretary for Agriculture, Grey Nyandule Phiri, said cultivation of the crop is prohibited.

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