'Let's replace sugar production in SA with hemp'

As South Africa’s sugar industry faces tough times, CapeTalk's Kieno Kammies speaks to a South African hemp company about the possibilities of growing hemp in the place of sugar.

A recent study commissioned by the South African Sugar Association to assess the socioeconomic effects of the proposed sugar tax showed that the sugar industry faces potential job losses and mill closures.

Tony Budden from South Africa’s top hemp company, Hemporium SA, highlighted some of the benefits of growing hemp in South Africa.

It's one plant that can really create a lot of jobs in South Africa... It is an opportunity for farmers who are facing a lot of pressure to try something different.

Tony Budden, Hemporium SA

Unlike sugar that gives one product in one market, with hemp you have a market for fibre and a market for food.

Tony Budden, Hemporium SA

According to Budden, what stops this idea from becoming a reality, is the law that criminalises the harvesting of cannabis.

We haven't really separated the law to differentiate between medicinal usage, industrial usage and recreational uses like they have in Europe and other countries.

Tony Budden from the South Africa’s premiere hemp company

To hear the rest of the interview, listen below:


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