Zimbabwean cannabis attracts the foreign market

International buyers have endorsed industrial hemp from Zimbabwe in a move that is expected to expand the country’s export basket and revenue this year.

Africa Cannabis Advisory Group reported that the continent’s cannabis market is expected to reach US$7.1 billion by 2023, with more than 15 tonnes of legal cannabis exported to the rest of the world in 2021, a tenfold increase from compared to 2020.

Last year, Zimbabwe alone exported around three tonnes of industrial hemp to Europe, although most farmers are in a commercial trial phase.

“Most of the farmers are still in the commercial trial phase and one company managed to export three tons of hemp flour to Switzerland and it was again a commercial trial for quality assessment, according to this I hear Zimbabwe quality came highly recommended and we hope things continue to improve from there,” said Zimbabwe Industrial Hemp Trust, Managing Director and Founder, Dr Zorodzai Maroveke.

With a positive global outlook for industrial hemp; production is expected to increase this year.

By the end of this year it will be great if we have over 500 hectares of hemp production across the country, it will be a good start as we have had disruptions with COVID-19. What we need to understand about industrial hemp is that the potential is huge, we have existing industries like cotton and tobacco, as you may know tobacco is under threat and industrial hemp the is so we need to consider alternative crops and I think the hemp industry really fits into most strategies and SDGs for a national and global vision,” he added.

In 2020, the government began licensing farmers for cannabis, enabling research and development of the crop and to date over 20 growers have been licensed by the Agriculture Marketing Authority ( WADA).

Industrial hemp is used as a raw material in the manufacture of pharmaceutical drugs, textiles, edible oils and animal feed, among others.

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