Advocates of industrial hemp legalisation have applauded President Peter Mutharika for giving consent to researchers to conduct trials.
Cultivation of the crop for trial purposes started at Chitedze Research Station in Lilongwe in August this year following Mutharika’s endorsement.
Kamet Forum Malawi, a network of citizens who have been behind the push for legalisation of industrial hemp, says Mutharika made a brave, but wise decision.
The trials are being conducted by a local company, Invegro Hemp Power Malawi, to ascertain the viability of industrial hemp becoming a viable cash crop for Malawi.
“In giving a nod to this kind of research, the President has demonstrated that he is a true statesman who does not only call for innovative minds to come up with new ideas, but also geared to providing conducive environment for such innovative ideas to be objectively assessed for viability,” reads part of Kemet’s letter to Mutharika’s chief economic adviser Collins Magalasi.
The letter, signed by chairperson Sangwani Msofi and secretary Alvin Ngoma , says Mutharika’s determination will not go unnoticed by Malawians who are looking for alternatives to diversify the economy’s reliance on tobacco as the major export.
The organisation has since requested the Ministry of Industry and Trade to consider formulating deliberate policies towards empowering indigenous businesses to invest in the industry.