The North West department of agriculture and rural development kicked off its first ever community learning session on cannabis, called the Hybrid Cannabis Lekgotla, on Wednesday.
“As a department, we had a burning desire for our farmers to also tap into this gravy train,” said provincial minister Desbo Mohono about the department’s decision to host the three-day event.
She explained that her focus was community knowledge on the cultivation, use and possession of cannabis, and to get farmers ready to tap into the industry.
“We want to establish a cannabis socioeconomic provincial strategy, with clear plans and execution. We want our farmers to be able to go and explore inclusive entrepreneurial opportunities.”
The lasting impact of colonial and apartheid cannabis legislation on local communities was also on the agenda, as well as learning and research to possibly bridge unemployment gaps.
Premier vows to support provincial efforts
The premier of the province, Bushy Maape, encouraged young people and women to participate in the cannabis value chain as business owners.
He has also vowed to ensure that the province implements the National Cannabis Master Plan to benefit the people of the province and to alleviate the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality in local communities.
Topics at the event so far included the legal framework of cannabis farming, sustainable seed supply and producer support, traditional healers and indigenous farms, cannabis value-chain research, development and innovation, enterprise and supplier development, government policy and strategy, and general education and awareness.
The event, hosted at premises of the North-West University, is set to continue today.
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