Malawi is expected to invest about US$10 million (about K7.1 billion in the cultivation of Industrial hemp as one way of boosting the country’s ailing economy.
Parliament recently endorsed the motion to legalize the cultivation of Indian hemp locally known as Chamba.
And on Tuesday, Minister of Agriculture George Chaponda told Parliament that the country by October this year, will set significant steps towards investing US $10million into the hemp cultivation.
Ntchisi North legislator Boniface Kadzamira weeks ago moved a motion in Parliament, requesting government to legalize the growing and use of industrial hemp considering the enormous economic, medical and nutritional value industrial hemp has.
The motion also recognize industrial hemp as an agricultural cash crop for industrial purposes distinct from other cannabis varieties.
Cultivation or selling of Chamba is prohibited by law; however government is currently conducting trials on industrial hemp, which if it’s successful, it will help boost the economy.
Government last year gave approval for the trials on industrial hemp for export.
Government’s decision followed years of heated debate. The proposal continues to meet resistance from anti-drug activists and religious leaders.
Industrial hemp and marijuana are from the same family of crops. But industrial hemp does not contain the psychoactive chemical agents found in marijuana.