By JOHN KOMBE
The government must quickly sanction the cultivation of Cannabis for industrial and medicinal purposes to help the country dismantle its debt, Zambian Hemp Growers and Industries Association (ZamHemp) president, Peter Sinkamba, has said.
Mr. Sinkamba made the observation in an interview and said that Zambia does not need another form of debt facility to settle its existing debt. He said that any other short-term solutions that may be pursued will negatively impact the sustainability and livelihoods of future economies and generations and as such must be avoided.
He stressed that Zambia’s huge debt must compel the nation to pursue local solutions that will not put the future generation in more problems. He therefore insisted that Cannabis cultivation was one projects that the country can take advantage of to help rescue itself from debt.
Mr. Sinkamba pointed out that both the industrial Hemp and medicinal cannabis cultivation can yield substantial returns for the country. He further argued that the sector can create not less than 2 million jobs.
He therefore wondered why the government was delaying such a game changer when the labour market was flooded with stranded job seekers who can also contribute to the national treasury through taxes.
He urged the government to expedite the signing of the commencement orders for the already assented to Cannabis and Hemp Acts of 2021. He said that the drafts were already in place and only needed to be signed for the commencement of the exercise. He therefore wondered why this has not been done despite the drafts being ready since May last 2021.
Mr. Sinkamba who is also Green party president said commencing the undertaking would greatly benefit the country and as such must not logically be delayed any further. He said that the issue was not political and as such all Zambians must support this cause whose objective is to help create national wealth and liberate the country from the economic hardships that it is currently grappling with.