Sat | Dec 15, 2018

Shaw looking to link small ganja farmers with large processors

Published:Monday | September 10, 2018 | 12:48 PM
Minister of Industry and Agriculture Audley Shaw addressing a Youth in Agriculture forum on Friday, September 7, 2018, at the Knox Community College's Cobbla campus in Manchester - Contributed photo

Minister of Industry and Agriculture Audley Shaw says he is looking to link small ganja farmers with large processors who have the ability to convert ganja into a range of medicinal products.

“What I'm working on is a programme where all serious ganja farmers who want to plant the herb for the formal industry will have to come together and form a cooperative,” he explained, while addressing a Youth in Agriculture public forum at Knox Community College in Manchester on Friday.

“The cooperative will then apply to the Cannabis Licensing Authority for a licence, which will give them legitimacy to grow the herb," he added.

The cooperative would then link with the large processors within the pharmaceutical industry, who would extract the oil from the ganja “and export it in barrels” to be used as raw material for medicinal uses, Shaw outlined. 

The industry and agriculture minister pointed out that the “ganja business is not just for the wealthy, who have the capital to do it. I want to build a model in Jamaica with opportunities for many farmers”.

"Get ready to be formal and form cooperatives across the country; get ready to be legitimate, transparent and expose yourself to a formal system and be part of the growing medicinal ganja business globally," he said.

The forum was hosted by the Ministry in collaboration with the World University Services of Canada's Promotion of Regional Opportunities for Produce through Enterprises and Linkages initiative and was focused on opportunities for youth in agribusiness.

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