Industrial Hemp Important Source Of Revenue for Nigeria, Says House Spokesman
Written by Tonia Uchola on May 18, 2021
The spokesman of the House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, has called for the legalisation of cannabis sativa also known as Indian hemp in Nigeria.
The federal lawmaker pointed out that many countries of the world have legalised cannabis for industrial purpose, stressing the need for Nigeria to harness this revenue source
Speaking yesterday in Akure, Ondo State capital during a chat with journalists, Kalu pointed out that a major challenge to Nigeria’s entry into the cannabis business is that the farming, production, and use of cannabis for medical and industrial purpose have not been legalized. “Agriculture has always been a major strength of Nigeria and cannabis provides interesting prospects. Industrial hemp is a variety of the cannabis sativa plant species that is grown specifically for industrial use.
“Once harvested, the crop has a high yield of edible proteins and fibres with more than 50,000 product applications ranging from paper making, textiles, biodegradable plastics, fuel, construction, healthy food, beverages, personal care products, and pharmaceuticals.”
“According to verified market research, the Global Industrial Hemp Market was valued at $5billion in 2019 and is projected to reach $36billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 34 per cent from 2019 to 2026.
“According to a consultancy firm Prohibition Partners, by 2023, the value of Africa’s legal cannabis market could be worth over $ 7.1billion.
“Currently, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and South Africa have legalised the growing of industrial hemp in Africa; and according to Prohibition Partners’ research, by 2023, just two years from now, the South African domestic market for cannabis and related products will be worth around $1.9billion.
“Fortunately, Nigeria has various advantages including affordable land, low-cost labour and an experienced agricultural workforce. Nigeria is also positioned to benefit from a first-mover advantage in Africa.”