Is Hemp The New Tobacco
08 August 2018
Category World News
Malawi has always relied on tobacco as its main cash crop, but with the majority of the world turning away from cigarettes- causing a rapid decline in demand for tobacco; farmers are having to find alternative crops as a means of income.
Tobacco crops deplete the soil of nutrients as they grow; whereas hemp is a multifunctional plant that not only revitalizes the soil as it grows, it also aerates the soil making hemp an ideal crop for rotation, as the crop that follows in the soil hemp grew in will develop better than it would have had hemp not been used. As the recognition and acceptance of hemp as a resource continues to grow, the agricultural industry has homed in on what could become their most sustainable cash crop yet.
The worldwide hemp trends
In the United States, hemp has not been commercially grown in 65 years. Between 2014 and 2018, there have been significant movements to legalize the growth of the hemp crop within the United States, the US Department of Agriculture, the Department of Agriculture in Kentucky, and most state governing bodies. North Carolina planted their first hemp crop as part of the state’s pilot program Currently state and federal laws dictate that all growth must be for research purposes and all farmers who want to grow Industrial Hemp for the Industrial Hemp Pilot Program must apply for a license. Both Kentucky and North Carolina relied on Tobacco and are moving towards hemp as an alternative cash crops.
How Can Malawi Monopolize on the Growing Hemp Industry?
If Malawi were to legalize hemp it could be their next cash crop, taking over and exceeding that of the tobacco industry. It is a race between African Countries in terms of who will formally legalise hemp, Malawi has the advantage due to its ideal climate- as seen with their highly sought after landrace strain, Malawi Gold.
If Malawi succeeds in becoming the first African country to legalize hemp and monopolize off of its growth they will have the advantage of regulating the hemp industry in Africa and being at the frontier of new hemp developments.