LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Ikaros Africa one of the continent drug manufacturing company this week said million dollars has been put aside for health hemp lucrative investment in Malawi.
The company has already invested MK380 million in its trial stage of health Canabis at Chitala research state in the Lakeshore district of Salima and Bvumbwe in Thyolo.
Managing Director Sandro Righini Ikaros Africa told The Maravi Post in an exclusive interview that Malawi’s reliance on tobacco as its main cash crop needs to be looked into seriously.
Righini observed that with the majority of the world turning away from cigarettes- causing a rapid decline in demand for tobacco Hemp is becoming the alternative.
“Malawi offers not only advantages in climate and an abundance of fresh water – the Malawian people are considered the greatest asset for future development of the hemp industry with their knowledge of agriculture and their warm, open-hardheartedness and sense of community – Malawi has the potential to become leaders in the hemp industry
“With over 50 years of cumulative experience in the medicinal hemp industry, Ikaros Africa brings their pride and joy to the heart of Malawi,” said Righini who is currently based in RSA.
Righini says cannabis were to be exported legally throughout the African content it could bring in as much as US$79.8-billion (R983-billion) per year to the continent as a whole.
He added that Africa could leverage its position in the world cannabis market – potentially bringing in massive amounts of revenue in for the continent.
If Africa makes its move quickly, it could uplift many Third World countries, allowing them to rise out of poverty.
Although no massive strides have been made to legalize the substance, many countries have indicated their interest in legalizing cannabis for export for their own economic gain..
Cannabis was introduced into Eastern Africa from Asia in the early 1500’s, where it rapidly dispersed across the content throughout the century.
Chauncy Mopho Jere one of the Shareholders for Ikaros Africa Malawi says medical Hemp has already been proven to treat different diseases such cancer, diabetics and other different ailments.
Mopho said the company is currently 18 months in Malawi into 26 months of cultivation trial research trial under the Department of Agriculture Research.
“Nothing will stop us we are moving towards the right direction we are also commending the support which Malawi Government is giving,” said Jere.
He said countries like Lesotho and Zimbabwe has already taken good steps to capitalise on this market due to its potential to change the entire landscape of local economy.
Jere says Ikaros Africa is dedicated to creating employment and market opportunities through both direct and indirect employment and utilising the concept of community based contract farming.
The Hemp plant became a cash crop under colonial regimes. The plant was outlawed across the continent in the 1920’s, mainly because of its psychoactive effects, however, the illegality of cannabis has never hindered the people of Africa from growing and consuming it.