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Publication date: 10 September 2020

Linda Sowoya, Chifundo Akamwaza, Austin Mathews Matola and Axel Klein

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the opportunities for tobacco farmers in Malawi from diversifying to cannabis, and the potential benefits for reducing…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the opportunities for tobacco farmers in Malawi from diversifying to cannabis, and the potential benefits for reducing deforestation by producing a cannabis based alternative fuel. It further argues that there are tensions between the conflicting objectives of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.

Design/methodology/approach

Field interviews were conducted with cannabis farmers, traders and sellers in different parts of Malawi.

Findings

The findings of this study show that there are opportunities for cannabis farmers but they have been blocked by legal impediments. Now that legislative reform have made cannabis cultivation possible, farmers need support in developing products.

Research limitations/implications

Any attempt to provide a precise assessment of the cannabis market in Malawi is constrained by the criminalised status of the product. The suitability of cannabis briquettes as an fuel has yet to be trialled in Malawi.

Social implications

There is an urgent need to revise the drug control conventions to address environmental degradation and deforestation.

Originality/value

The linkage between tobacco farming, deforestation and desertification in Malawi has not been made. This is the first time that hemp has been suggested as an alternative crop for farmers and as a solution to deforestation.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

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