Cannabis to bring fresh economic growth to Malawi, says Minister Nankhumwa

Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Kondwani Nankhumwa  hopes the new legislation decriminalising cannabis for medicinal and industrial purposes will help in  economic diversification and an alternative cash crop to tobacco.

Nankhumwa swill help the Malawian economy to bounce back from the contraction experienced in tobacco export – the main foreign earner

The economic potential of the fast-growing global medicinal and industrial cannabis industry has been the main driver of the law change in Malawi.

Nankhumwa  tabled the Cannabis Regulation Billin Palriament to distinguish the criminalised Indian hemp from medicinal cannabis through regulation of research, cultivation, production, processing, possession, storage, export, sale, distribution, use and its products for medicinal, industrial or scientific purposes under prescribed conditions.


“For a long time, Malawi has relied on tobacco as the main source of foreign exchange, contributing over 60 percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). But demand for tobacco has drastically dwindled over the years due to international anti-smoking lobby, bringing about an urgent need to diversify to other cash crops.


“We believe cannabis can be an effective substitute to tobacco, in the long term,” said Nankhuma in an interview.


With the new law,  there will be an  establishment of the Cannabis Regulatory Authority (CRA) to be responsible for licensing and regulating medicinal and industrial hemp programmes.


Nankhumwa said the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development through the Agricultural Extension Services department would embark on a civic education campaign to sensitise the masses to the difference between the allowed industrial hemp and the illegal Indian hemp commonly known among Malawians.

Former deputy minister of agriculture  Joe Manduwa in the president Bakili Muluzi administration (United Democratic Front – UDF)  was the first to table the issue of  legalising  the cultivation, processing and marketing of industrial hemp  for which he was labelled crazy.

It was then picked up later by  Boniface Kadzamira, former Ntchisi North legislator Boniface Kadzamira who tabled the topic in 2015.

Kadazamira also agrres with Nankhumwa that cannabis will  “in the long run replace tobacco to become our major cash crop – that will contribute hugely to the GDP.”

He  explained that the industry will create employment opportunities in the farming and industrial sectors.

Agriculture offers employment to nearly 80% of Malawi’s population. Tobacco is the country’s major export, and the global decline in its use has impacted the economy.

Malawi’s tobacco industry is also marred by exploitation, as international companies such as British American Tobacco have sought cheap labour – including child labour – and

Cannabis, which can thrive in dry conditions, is a good fit for Malawi’s climate, which has been impacted by the southern African drought.

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4 years ago

they also cheated us on Chana kukagulitsa ku India komwe eni ake ku india this is part of their staple food ndipo amal8ma mwakathithi kuposaso ife.
tikuganiza bwa???????

4 years ago

Tisute basi

4 years ago

nde camba ca cimulilenji cija munasunga ? poti zacitika nthawi zomwezi

4 years ago

This is a step forward indeed. Just make sure CRA is well regulated as well. They should not just share licenses among themselves with their nephews and girlfriends.

Kalulu Wadwala
4 years ago

Nothing has helped malawians. This too will not help m malawians. They cheated us on kayelekera. They cheated us on oil being found on lake malawi. They cheated us on Malawi mangoes. Now its chamba . Govt that keeps on lying

Saulo diki
Saulo diki
4 years ago

A typical composition if such a committee to search a national interest against a virus which kills mostly people from 70 years onwards might need to comprise of repesantive from police, representative from Army Medical Department , research proffessional specialised In viral disease, a representative from department of immigration, a representative from ministry of economics, a principal secretary for Culture ( the disease is spread by virus theres corps need to be burned), PS for Labout, Transport experts, representative from central med stores..a disease free consultant expert from china , educationist, senior lawyer, representatives for villagers ( chiefs)

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