Archive for ‘Agriculture’


Malawi Decriminalises Cannabis for Medicinal Purposes

March 4th, 2020

Malawi decriminalises cannabis from The Guardian newspaper.
The Guardian, 28 Feb, 2020

Desperate times can call for desperate measures. Malawi has passed a bill decriminalising cannabis for medicinal and industrial purposes, almost five years after a motion to legalise industrial hemp was adopted. The country follows in the footsteps of Zimbabwe, Zambia and Lesotho, neighbouring south-east African states that have legalised medicinal cannabis, as well as South Africa, where medicinal and recreational use was decriminalised in 2018.

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

- from The Guardian, read the rest here.

In Chichewa, cannabis is locally known as chamba and is grown mainly in central and northern regions like Mzuzu. Malawian cannabis, particularly the strain known as Malawi Gold, is internationally renowned as one of the finest sativa strains from Africa. According to a World Bank report it is among “the best and finest” marijuana strains in the world, generally regarded as one of the most potent psychoactive pure African sativas. The popularity of this variety has led to such a profound increase in marijuana tourism and economic profit in Malawi that Malawi Gold is listed as one of the three “Big C’s” in Malawian exports: chambo (Tilapia fish), chombe (tea), and chamba (cannabis).

A deep dive into Africa’s Agriculture

June 20th, 2019

There is so much to take out of this special report on Agriculture in Africa just published by Oxford Business Group, which sets out the challenges and the opportunities facing farmers across the continent.

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“While Africa holds more than 60% of the world’s arable land, the continent’s share in global agricultural production remains low. Vast areas of land are uncultivated and productivity is lower than in much of the rest of the world. Nevertheless, farming is key for the majority of African economies and accounts for at least 15% of the region’s GDP. In addition, around two-thirds of the African population is employed within the sector, the vast majority working on small-scale farms that currently produce around 90% of all output.”

“If the sector’s most notable challenges can be overcome, agriculture could play an even larger part in transforming economies. In particular, governments across the continent are working with international organisations to find solutions to the rising effects of climate change. Nevertheless, the overall is quite bright: cultivated areas are expected to expand and farmers are set to increase their use of inputs, such as fertilisers, improved seeds, irrigation systems and mechanisation.”

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Find the full OBG report here.