Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Stop destroying ganja fields for a year – stakeholders

Published:Tuesday | August 2, 2016 | 8:08 AM

There’s a call for a national amnesty on the destruction of ganja fields for one year.

The call is being made by the Ganja Growers and Producers Association of Jamaica.

It says during this one-year period the authorities should cease arresting farmers in their fields and allow the free movement of seeds and plant material.

The association says the move would allow the transition of small and indigenous cultivators into a regulated cannabis industry.

The association notes that traditional ganja farmers do not have the capacity to fund any start-up operation, due to the cost of infrastructure, application and licence fees.

The Association says the Government has signalled through the Cannabis License Authority that traditional ganja farmers must be given preferential treatment to have a stake in the farming of ganja.

But it says neither the Government nor the Authority has expressed the willingness to make funding arrangements to facilitate cultivation start-ups by farmers.

The association also says no bank or other financial institution will provide funds to the sector.