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Daggaprodukte in die landbousektor | Cannabis products in agriculture

English to follow:

20 Februarie 2020

Agri SA neem kennis van die regering se plan om die kommersiële gebruik van hemp-produkte te wettig en te reguleer om geleenthede te skep vir kleinskaalse boere; om beleid te formuleer oor die gebruik van dagga-produkte vir mediese doeleindes, en om hierdie bedryf uit te brei in lyn met wêreldwye tendense, soos gemeld in die President se staatsrede.

Dit is belangrik dat die regering die totale waardeketting in ag neem wanneer hy sy beleid vir kommersiële dagga- en hemp boerdery ontwerp, veral aangesien die fokus op kleinskaalse boere is. Hierdie boere het nie noodwendig toegang tot al die insette wat nodig is om ‘n suksesvolle oes te verseker nie, insluitend maar nie beperk tot bemesting en water nie. Verder is dit ook uiters noodsaaklik dat belegging in enige projekte werkskepping tot gevolg sal hê gegewe die land se onaanvaarbare hoë werkloosheidskoers. Dit is onduidelik wat die werkskepping potensiaal vir kommersiële dagga- en hemp boerdery in terme van primêre landbou is.

Dit is moontlik dat werkskepping ‘n uitkoms sal wees van sekondêre landbou waar dagga en hemp bewerk word en die produkte geproduseer en verkoop word. Dit verg egter behoorlike beplanning in terme van infrastruktuurontwikkeling en marktoegang om die lewensvatbaarheid van kommersiële dagga-en hemp boerdery te verseker. Georganiseerde landbou mag nie van hierdie beplanningsproses uitgesluit word nie.

Dit is ook noodsaaklik dat kommersiële dagga -of hemp boerdery nie inmeng met voedselsekerheid nie. Daar is ‘n risiko dat kleinskaalse landbouers sal verkies om met dagga of hemp te boer weens die moontlike kontant aansporing. Dit kan negatief inwerk op kommoditeite wat benodig word vir voedselsekerheid – ‘n potensiële onbedoelde gevolg wat versigtig bestuur moet word.

Laastens, gegewe die misdaad koers in landelike gebiede, is dit belangrik om die koste verbonde aan ‘n dagga- of hemp oes in ag te neem wanneer besluite geneem word ten opsigte van beleid. Maatreëls om te verhoed dat dagga produksie aanleiding gee tot onwettige gebruik, is uiters belangrik.

Navrae

Nicol Jansen

Voorsitter: Agri SA Sentrum van Uitnemendheid – Ekonomie & Handel

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20 February 2020

Agri SA notes the government’s plan to open up and regulate the commercial use of hemp products, providing opportunities for small-scale farmers and formulate policy on the use of cannabis products for medicinal purposes, to build this industry in line with global trends, as mentioned in the President’s state of the nation address.

The government must consider the entire value chain when designing policy for the commercial farming of both cannabis and hemp, especially since the focus is on small-scale farmers. These farmers might not necessarily have access to all the inputs necessary to ensure a successful crop, including but not limited to fertilisers and water. Furthermore, it is vital that investment in any projects need to include an outcome of job creation, given the country’s untenable unemployment rate. It is unclear what the job creation potential is in terms of primary agriculture for the commercial farming of cannabis and hemp.

Job creation may be an outcome of secondary agriculture, where cannabis and hemp is processed, and products are produced and sold.  However, this needs proper planning in terms of infrastructure development and market access to ensure the viability of the commercial farming of cannabis and hemp. Organised agriculture cannot be excluded from this planning process.

It would also be imperative that the commercial farming of hemp and cannabis cannot interfere with food security. It is a risk that small-scale farmers may prefer to farm with cannabis or hemp because of the potential cash incentive, which could negatively impact the farming of commodities needed for food security. This is a potential unintended consequence that would need careful management.

Lastly, given the crime rate in rural areas, it is important to factor in the cost of securing a crop of hemp or cannabis, when decisions are made in terms of policy.  Measures to prevent cannabis production falling into illegal use is crucial.

Enquiries

Nicol Jansen

Agri SA Chairman: Economics and Trade Centre of Excellence