Georgetown – President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, says he is optimistic that Guyana can develop a viable hemp industry by exploiting and capitalising on the value-added aspects of the plant.
Speaking at the recent opening of the Police Officers’ Conference, President Ali said government will be moving in this direction.
“The hemp industry is not only about hemp production, but it is about having the processing and value-added facilities here in Guyana and these are industries that can generate jobs, these are industries that have high value return,” he said.
Speaking during a recent press conference, signalled his intention to meet marijuana farmers on the possibility of them taking advantage of the hemp industry. He said it is a legal way for them to make money.
“It is a net gain for the country, and I want to have that conversation and I think that it is the responsibility of the President to lead in some of these areas in creating the level of trust for the transformation that is required. So, yes this is an industry that can also help in at risk communities,” Ali said.
According to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Centre, industrial hemp is from the plant species cannabis sativa and has been used worldwide to produce a variety of industrial and consumer products. Hemp is a source of fibre and the oilseed is grown in more than 30 nations.
Some uses for hemp include rope, textiles, clothing, shoes, food, paper, bioplastics, insulation, and biofuel. It is rich in protein, unsaturated fats, fibre, minerals and vitamins. Hemp protects the brain, boosts heart health, reduces inflammation, improves skin conditions and relieves rheumatoid arthritis.
Hemp seeds are particularly rich in healthy fats, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that are known for improving heart health by reducing cholesterol, blood pressure, and triglycerides.
Additionally, the results of the 2021 Hemp Acreage and Production Survey in its National Hemp Report, which shows data of hemp grown in the open and under protection in the United States [US], stated that the value of U.S hemp production in the open totalled $712 million. The value of production for hemp that was grown under protection in the U.S totalled $112 million.
Further, the Global Industrial Hemp Markets Report 2021-2028, published by GlobeNewswire in November 2021, states that the global industrial hemp market size is expected to reach US$12.01 billion by 2028 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 16.2 percent from 2021 to 2028. (CMC)