Hemp Academy for Reg. 6; Association to represent farmers formed ahead of anticipated production this year
As farmers across Guyana gear up for the start of hemp production this year, a Hemp Academy will come on stream as early as March.
To also support farmers, a union-like body styled the ‘Hemp Industries Association’ has been formed to make collective representation for legally registered and certified farmers, manufacturers and transporters.
Co-Chair of Guyana Hemp Industries, Michael Kirton told the News Room on Thursday that the Hemp Academy will commence its work in a rented building in New Amsterdam, Region Six but there are plans to secure lands at Palmyra where a permanent structure will be constructed.
The academy aims to train farmers and potential farmers in all aspects of hemp production – from growing to harvesting, processing, manufacturing and marketing.
Kirton explained that from March 2023, the academy will commence a four-week certificate course with trainers from Guyana and the United States of America.
The work will commence with 50 farmers, 25 from Region Six and 25 from Region 10 – the two areas earmarked by the government for the start of hemp production.
Following the successful passage of the Industrial Hemp Bill in the National Assembly in August 2022, it is anticipated that the cultivation of industrial hemp will make way for newer and more lucrative industries while boosting the economy.
The legislation is geared towards ensuring a regulated industry.
“We believe hemp will make Guyan better, greener and a healthier place.
“We are committed to training Guyanese farmers in hemp production through an all-round educational programme to ensure our farmers have profitable corps,” Kirton said.
The money to finance this private sector-led venture will come from GHI and its associates abroad.
Meanwhile, providing more details on the Association, GHI’s Project Coordinator Nazia Mohamed-Persaud said the aim is to help farms with the licensing and registration process for lands and ensure that the business dealings are above board.
“The organisation was formed because of a need and not carry out any business for profit, just to make representation,” she said.
There is also an ongoing ‘hemp for victory’ campaign targeting rural and urban communities with sensitisation work to make people aware of the benefits of hemp.
With the establishment of this new hemp industry, Guyana would be poised to tap into the global industrial hemp market which was valued at $4.9 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach $10.6 billion by 2025 and $18.6 billion by 2027.
Apart from bringing in valuable foreign exchange to the economy, the cultivation of industrial hemp will also create significant employment opportunities by catering to an increasingly growing and highly desired market demand while at the same time providing for a relatively higher profit margin compared to other traditional commodities