Legal hemp can boost Malawi economy – Experts

University of Malawi economic professor based at Chancellor College in eastern city of Zomba, Ben Kalua has called for the de-politicization of production of Cannabis – locally known as Chamba- saying said industrial Hemp has the potential to steer the country’s economy towards recovery.

A presenter showing hemp products

A presenter showing hemp products

He was speaking during a seminar organized by Kemet Forum at Chancellor College under the theme ‘Demystifying Cannabis’.

In his presentation Professor Kalua said the ban on Cannabis during the colonial days was purely political aimed at protecting the colonialists economic interests.

Kalua argued that research has shown that the gains outweigh the negatives in as far as production of this plant is concerned.

He said in the case of Cannabis which is used for smoking, there is a lot of research that has shown a lot of medicinal benefits from the plant.

The recent research which was led by Dr Yankel Gabet of Tel Aviv University, revealed that   Cannabis could be used in medicinal form to speed up the healing of broken bones.

Cannabis reportedly has a number of health benefits. A 2014 study found that THC reduced tumour growth in an aggressive strain of brain cancer within mice with virtually no psychotropic side-effects

Kalua said the misconception comes when the two are put together saying the hemp under discussion is not for smoking but for industrial purpose.

The Professor said smoking is a choice.

“Tobacco and alcohol are legal, why is that some do not smoke,” queried Kalua.

He asked government to give it a 5 year trial period of uncontrolled production of all the varieties and monitor the direction.

Ntchisi North Member of Parliament Boniface Kadzamira who raised the issue during the last sitting of parliament said time has come for Malawi to wake up and reap from its resources.

“What is honourable when people you represent are denied clear vibrant economic activities in favour of a century old falsehood and manipulated beliefs and legislation,” asked Kadzamira.

He said as a country it is high time Malawi started thinking outside the box and come up with alternative innovations that would boost the country’s revenue base.

Kadzamira said the country’s lack of progress is not due to lack of better ideas or alternatives but due to what he called a deliberate refusal to correct weak spots in the system.

He disclosed that the issue of Hemp has been in corridors of government for the last two years where an agreement was reached to offer license for trials to a certain company but wondered that when he introduced the subject in parliament the system feigned ignorance.

Kadzamira queried the secrecy, saying a transparent and accountable government could have informed the public on what is going on concerning the issue of industrial hemp in Malawi.

The MP said thousands of research has proved that hemp is not a drug but an agricultural cash crop with enormous economic potential capable of producing significant quantities of paper, building materials, sacks, medicines, paint, detergents, vanish, oils, ink, fuels, fabric and textiles, carpeting, biodegradable plastics, jewelry, auto parts, lubricants, beverages, nutritional foods and other things.

On fears that hemp smoking triggers madness, Kadzamira said the type of hemp being advocated for is industrial hemp which is used for manufacturing various things as mentioned above.

He said this hemp has little percentages of THC, a substance responsible for getting high in normal cannabis.

Kadzamira said this hemp is cultivated for its fiber, seeds and medicinal properties adding that it is very different from the smoking hemp.

The parliamentarian said for one to get the satisfaction of getting high they would need to smoke a cigarette the size of an electric pole.

The parliamentarian said apart from its economical benefits industrial hemp net benefits are quite impressive. He said Hemp grows in most climates with moderate water and fertiliser requirements.

Kemet interim chair Sangwani Msofi said it should be emphasized that the hemp being advocated for is pure industrial and not the one for smoking.

“I do not see why Malawi should struggle to improve its economy when it has valuable resource in hemp cultivation,” said Msofi.

He said hemp will bring the much needed forex adding that it can take over from tobacco. Msofi also said Kemet will keep on lobbying government to change its stance on Hemp for the betterment of Malawi.

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49 thoughts on “Legal hemp can boost Malawi economy – Experts”

  1. A Malawi please changamukani this issue don’t just see it to the benefit side this issue is being used by Malawian to convince Malawian Muzungu involved pa debate why? if you want to legalise then legalise every thing malawian hemp and and their hemp Mukapusa pa mawa they will claim kuti ndi variety yawo including our Malawi variety don’t forget that varieties are protected mufusefuse malamulo a mbewu pa Dziko lapasi asanakudyereni masuku pa mutu? Boniface and Kalua are just being used a wa Pasa tumba la ma dollars to convince Malawian to my observation

  2. Good idea from the economic experts.Legal industrial hemp,police it propery and then Malawi will have more forex.We borrow from USA and even get Aid from the same source which gets part of its revenue from Chamba.

  3. Mapundi says:

    Chamba ndi ndiwo zokoma kuchitendera chimakoma ngati chisoso tridax procumbens. Try it you’ll love it very nutritious vegetable nsima yake mgaiwa

  4. Smoko boy says:

    Those who want to smoke let them do so. Its just like it is with beer and cigarates we see every day, not everybody smoke and drink. Its a personal choice, how ever, our focus is going to be on economy growth, period.

  5. zako says:

    Do your research . ..chamba is also medicine God had a puporse only kt dzikoli linadzadza ndimamina

  6. Che Wanimiliyoni says:

    If the industrial chamba is not for smoking then it means the chamba we know in Malawi is not industrial since it is smoked. Now how do we know the industrial chamba will find favour with our weather? Let’s not cheat ourselves that our climate is good for chamba. It is just that we dont have enough capacity to police its illegal growth that is why there’s too much chamba in this country. Let the whole world legalize chamba we will as usual find ourselves at the bottom of poor quality chamba producers.

  7. bebess says:

    government with shallow thinking minds. US government that help us in donor funding its getting revenue from chamba and with the very same tax revenue its getting they are helping us in aid. we are benefiting from the very same chamba pali nzeru apa shupiti. change your thinking poor leaders. once legalised they will be the same rushing to rob chamba farmers.

  8. x says:

    this Is a good idea only if it is regulated properly. imagine the tourism we have a beautiful country with beautiful bud. and also don’t export raw hemp add some value manufacture process it then we sell it. some of you need to get rid of your lack of innovative thinking. yes its deemed a vice but we all partake in vice

  9. Zuze says:

    Kodi mutapamga legalise same sex marriage, does it mean amunafe tidzasiya azikazi athu?

  10. Optic Computer says:

    If the police are finding it hard to stop chamba growers in Nkhotakota from selling it in Blantyre, you will have to hire alien security to stop people from smoking if they grew chamba in the yards.

  11. Joyce Chanthunya says:

    A Kaluwa, Zachamba basi, fotseki!

  12. mapapaya says:

    za chamba eeeti? munthu wa nzeru zake nkumati koma chamba.Usiyiretu. Ukafuna ukawauze abale ako azilima.

  13. Nyirenda says:

    Tatiyeni naoni ulimiwu. Titukule dziko lathu.

  14. Mapundi says:

    We are four in our family and we grew up in central region a family that relied in Agriculture (tobacco growing) to earn a living. All the four of us three men and a woman were educated up to college level relying on the money from selling tobacco. Neither our parents nor us the children ever smoked nor our children up to date and we will all die non smokers. Legalizing Marijuana or not will not stop smokers or would be smokers neither will it influence smokers or non smokers. Let us keep on with our education to teach the masses on how bad smoking is. The same we do with HIV/AIDS due to sexual intercourse.

  15. el- Chapo(small in stature. big in mind ) says:

    In tobacco industry we say that smoking is an informed choice since consumer knows its repercussion. The same applies to chamba.

  16. Naphungwako says:

    Ben Kalua, just thank God that you got educated and be where you are. As someone in the research industry must be aware of the negative impact this chamba has on the mental development of human beings. Do you want to kill the whole nation? What you should know by now is that even excessive smoking of ordinary cigerratte is taking people’s lives, what more with chamba? Pamene mayiko akuluakulu otukuka akulimbansa ndi mchitidwe wolimsa ndi kugulitsa chamba pofuna kuteteza umoyo wa anthu awo, mayiko ovutika akuti ndiye geni. Pathetic!

  17. Mapwevupwevu says:

    Bravo Dikisan or whatever they call you.Someone advised me ‘if you want to prosper love and make use of what you don’t like despite its side effect

  18. Mapwevupwevu says:

    Wherever/whenever there is a need of redemption anything becomes a solution despite its outspoken side infect.legalise it

  19. Malawian MomS says:

    You are going to have a backparker tell us what to do in Malawi. find other ways to find money,not chamba.

    Malawi is alredy broken as it is, and you want to add chamba. We are going to be domed if this is the way you are going to be taking this Nation.

  20. Samarakunjuta says:

    Chamba smoking in Netherlands op s legal,america,UK Jamaica, Haiti just to name a few what a damn is Malawi not to??? Legalise chamba as soon as possible#assholes!!

  21. Dikisan says:

    Let us understand why we need to grow chamba. We should all benefit. We do not want to go on smoking as we do not drink or smoke but to use as medicine or industrial use only. Amalawi, Tadzukani. Kumvetsa zinthu. Chifukwa chiyani anthu onse sankhala pa nseu ndi kumapanga ukhule? Uhule ndi mtima, Kusuta kumwa mowa mwauchidakwa ndi mtima.
    Paka mufunana mzungu adzabere ndikukuzani kuti yambani kulima. Inu nokha simungaganize kuti zoti tichite Nazi. Athu osamva munachoka planet yakuti?

  22. pat says:

    And we can use proceeds from ganja business to build more mental hospitals

  23. Eden says:

    Its Fine to legalize ganja.My only request is that build some more mental hospitals and train a lot of doctors to march with a lot of mad people .These will be the side effect of the so recovery of economy through za Chamba.

  24. Anangondo says:

    Koma Malawi wa lero kuvetsa chisoni. mpakana kutha ma plan kuyamba kufuna kudalira chamba zoona! God have mercy!

  25. cosby says:

    Whether legalize or not the economy will still be the same.

  26. George phiri says:

    Chamba is illegal but people still smoke it. Just legalise it so we can all benefit from it.
    I grew up with people who smoked chamba but I never touched it, so as someone said above, smoking is a choice whether legal or illegal.

  27. mr. Mbwani says:

    Basi tonse tizidzangokhalira mibaba kusuta ngati chingabwe eti?

  28. kwende says:

    Kusuta kulipo, ndikakong’ontha one-toothed wina wake ku state house ntachipopa!!!

  29. Mbilinya says:

    Legalize Marijuana. This is not something we need to debate about. If I may ask you people; amongst the following diseases which would you say this disease is simple: Diabetes, High blood pressure, Heart burn, kidney failure, and death caused by accidents due to drunk driving. I’m sure all mentioned above are serious and unwanted. Eating sugar, acidic foods like coke beer, fats from margarine, cheese, nicotine from tea, cocoa, perfumes and soap that bring skin cancer and what have you are all dangerous. Let me also include encouraging gays to do all what they do etc etc. There is no point and good reason not to legalize Marijuana just because one can go mad out of smoking it. How about the rest of diseases that are caused by sugar and the like? Do we need these diseases? If the Western countries are encouraging same sex because it is their choice, why not legalize marijuana because those that smoke, it is their choice as well. Why do you just dwell on the negative side of Marijuana and not on the positive side of it. Hypocrites! Legalize Marijuana immediately.

  30. Happy Eduardo says:

    Za chamba basi

  31. james says:

    just ligalize for the betterment of the counrty and its people, someone cannot grow 5 acres just to smoke, what z the hell problem with us malawians

  32. Zagwa says:

    There is need for civic education on this one. Some confused chamba smoking advocates believe that industrial hemp is the same as their ‘herb’. Adzakhumudwa akazindikila kuti this one sichibanda. Legalize, legalize chani? Tamangosutani mobisa uchitsilu wanuwo..tiona ngati mungabise misala mukapenga!

  33. wamuchalo says:

    Ku Zombatu kukazaza ndi wofuntha kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

  34. Owen says:


  35. vyaya says:

    Boma la Chamba, opposition mcp Chamba, Atupele chamba, President Chamba, ma lawyer chamba, a police a chamba, ma prifessor a joinanso chamba…..chasalanso ndichani chopanda chamba…basi start growing chambacho already zonse zikuchitika nzachamba

  36. Samantha Lewis says:

    We dont need this cannibas to heal the economy. We just have to stop stealing! Even mulime chamba, ndalama zake boma likazipeza zizabedwa. Paja mkuluyu amabema

  37. mtumbika1 says:

    It will generate the much needed forex for peter mutharika to steal so rather put the whole idea on ice until the mapwevupwevu government is kicked out in 2019.

  38. Idulusi Issa says:

    The West is full of contradictions and protectionist tendencies. They say drinking alcohol is legal while the effects far out number those that are evident in cannabis usage. There is more crime that is committed as a result of excessive alcohol and it has become as social problem worldwide….but what do you hear? More adverts on the radio and TV that glamourise the drinking. We do not see anybody going to jail for drinking…why? The whites produce it! Why are American jails full of black people….because they have taken the option to use cannabis, for which they languish in jail…while whites use hardened drugs like cocaine and heroin. Let us legalise cannabis and show them where to get off which their hypocrisy!

  39. Mapwevu pwevu gafament says:

    No problem I don’t smoke even at gun point I can’t. Go ahead

  40. Steve. M. Jnr says:

    ndi inu nomwe amene mumatiuza kuti chuma chili mu nthaka! This statement has never been more true when it comes to hemp. Chamba, even in its illegal status, makes more for this country than tobacco every year. Its the healing of the nation, but they can never know…

  41. nanaphiri says:

    we need ligalization now….tapondelezedwa kwa nthawi yayitali amalawi kupusa azungu akupanga ligalise ife uchitsiru basi

  42. Yusuf Hofmally says:

    Koma anthu a kwa Jenda ndi Nkhotakota ndiye alemera kwambiri. Pa Jenda anthu ambiri olemera dhilu yake ndi yomwei. Amanamizila kuodetsa tomato. Tsono mkanguwatelooo. Ohhh..Kotooo Ineee chuma icho.

  43. Joseph says:

    Koma ndiye ey eetu ey… Malawi-di watha. Mpaka kuyamba kudalira chamba?

  44. Thumbs up says:

    Tilime zimenezi. Azungu a fodya akutizunza alimife. I support industrial hemp for economic prosperity. Malawi at 50 lets change direction with the times. We have good soil,let us use it wisely. Please depoliticise this good people.

  45. mo says:

    Kkkkkkkk everyone has rights those who want to smoke will do,legalise chamba Basi,musadikile mzungu kuti atipusise pa chamba chathu,the white man told us thru Thindwa that there’s no witchcraft they corrupted his brain with money we listened, they corrupted the good brain of Undule up until he received Jesus,today he the white man is withholding aid why?u kno it,so this chamba is ours let us sale it,we shd not do the kayelekela style exporting our resource like that.bravo guys pachambapa tichedwepo

  46. jokujoku says:

    Legalize for the healing of the Nation.!!! Those of the early 80s can agree that we cured measles by drinking the soaked Chamba. And even chickens were healed of coccidiosis – chitopa. Changamukani a MALAWI

  47. Professor Dr. James Napwiri Phiri says:

    Lets go for it!! Basi we need measures to protect our economy

  48. Musazafulu Dums. says:

    Amene azafunthewo asazapite ku mental ku Zomba chifukwa nzadala.

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