The President of Zimbabwe has inaugurated a site for the cultivation and processing of medical cannabis worth €25 million.
Business Insider reports that President Emmerson Mnangagwa has “commissioned the medical cannabis farm, and processing plant at Mount Hampden set up by Swiss Bioceuticals Limited in Western Province, Zimbabwe…to produce cannabis (mbanje or dagga) for medical and scientific purposes”, stating in a speech that “the rapid development of the processing site, which adds significant value to the culture, testifies to the success of the government’s commitment policy and the confidence of the Swiss companies and investors in Zimbabwe and its economy”.
“I extend my sincere congratulations to Swiss Bioceuticals Limited for this timely investment in the $27 million medical cannabis farm, processing plant and value chain,” Mnangagwa said in a speech on Wednesday, as quoted by Business Insider.
Business Insider reported that the president “added that investors should follow the company’s lead and open up their business to support the ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’ mantra and be prepared to generate foreign currency for the country.”
A way to revive the country
The inauguration of this production site comes nearly three years after the country scrapped its laws banning the cultivation of cannabis as it sought to produce a new crop for export. A year earlier, in 2018, the country legalized medical cannabis.
The repeal of the ban is part of a concerted effort by Zimbabwe to pivot from its main export product, tobacco, of which it is the continent’s largest producer.
With tobacco exports bringing much less money to Zimbabwean farmers and growers than before, many industry players in the country have turned to cannabis production.