Some industrial hemp growers in Mzimba are threatening the government with legal action for failure to issue them with licences.
The prospective cannabis farmers claim they have invested K30 million in the industrial hemp farming.
M’mbelwa Investment Limited spokesperson Rev. William Mumba said Saturday n Mzuzu that delays to issue licenses are frustrating.
He said the government should issue them with the licences.
“We are extremely concerned as famers because we have invested a lot into this venture. We had all the trust in our government that they would fulfill what was promised because it is about the country’s economy and the economy of individuals. The minimum investment by a single individual is about K700,000.00 while the maximum is 30 million Kwacha.
“It’s very unfortunate that government does not seem to be concerned and this is where we think we might consider mobilizing ourselves to force government to refund the money. If government issued the licences, farmers from Mzimba alone would bring into the country approximately $2 billion. This would certainly help to boost the economy of the country,” explained Mumba.
Another concerned farmer, Martin Kumwenda, wondered why an initiative conceived by government itself was also being hindered by the same government.
“We were asked by the same government to get organized to grow cannabis. We underwent trainings, paid licence fees and got down to prepare land. We are very concerned that government does not bother the time frame that was agreed upon,” lamented Kumwenda.
Last Thursday, agriculture authorities updated farmers that they were waiting for Ministry of Justice to gazzette names of board members by this week.