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Zimbabwe shoots high – plans to export US$1,2 billion of hemp next year

Zimbabwe is on track to roll-out an ambitious hemp cultivation programme with plans to reduce the country’s reliance on tobacco as a foreign exchange earner.  And interest is picking up in the investment community as the country’s legal framework for cannabis cultivation unfolds.

South Africa’s Business Day newspaper reported on 29 November 2020, that Zimbabwe’s finance minister, Mthuli Ncube said cannabis had “immense potential to generate export receipts” and that it was feasible that US$1,2 could be realized in 2021.

Zimbabwe’s leading hemp advocate says a significant investment hurdle has been overcome with the gazetting of Statutory Instrument 218 of 2020, which provides for two types of cultivation license, and allows hemp to be traded.


Dr Makoveke, Zimbabwe Cannabis News, African Cannabis Export

Dr Maroveke:  New law overdue but big step in the right direction


New laws in line with global hemp export guidelines

Zimbabwe Industrial Hemp Trust (ZIHT) founder and chief executive officer Dr Zorodzai Maroveke, says the the reform is long overdue.

“But, its progressive and in line with the global momentum on industrial hemp legal inclusion. It also allows hemp to have its own stage as it had been overshadowed by medicinal cannabis.

Secondly, putting in a law that regulates the cultivation of industrial hemp gives clarity, not only to Zimbabweans who may be interested in the farming or processing, but also investors who may be looking into investing in the value addition of this crop”

Dr Maravoke, who has led a tireless campaign over the past five years to legalize hemp production, says the crop could be the answer to Zimbabwe’s economic woes.

She says the new regulations are criticial “ as they set the parameters and distinguish between marijuana for medicinal purposes, which is very complex, and industrial hemp. Many people can participate and this may see the production kicking off on a large scale in a year or so.

“ I think this piece of legislation is good, but not perfect as there are a few things that will need panel beating to allow massive growth of the sector like the (psychoactive cannabis) tetrahydrocannabinol or THC threshold. We as the Zimbabwe Industrial Hemp Trust are still lobbying to revise that, but it’s still work in progress”.


Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa, cannabis export africa, zimbabwe cannabis reform

Zim president Emmerson Mnangagwa: will hemp make him smile?


“Africa must watch out for Zimbabwe’s hemp export ambitions’

Dr Maroveke says Zimbabwe could be very competitive with continued support in policy 

development from government, good markets, technical expertise, funding “and of course, a corruption-free space”.

She says that with the right inputs, it is possible to generate revenue of US60 000 an acre through utilizing all parts of the plant to produce oil, flour and fibre products.

An acre of industrial hemp produces 8 000 pounds of hemp seed which when cold-pressed yields 300 gallons of hemp seed oil and a by-product of 6 000 pounds of high protein hemp flour. Hemp seed oils are both food and bio-fuel. Currently, the productive seed oil crops in Zimbabwe are soyabeans, sunflower and rape seed or cranola.

“Africa must watch out for Zimbabwe. We have potential to be one of the major players on the continent due to our strong pedigree in agriculture and tobacco production.”


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