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WIDER Working Paper 2019/38

This working paper, Moving up the copper value chain in Southern Africa, forms part of the project: Southern Africa – Towards Inclusive Economic Development (SA-TIED)


t: Interest in industrial hemp has revived in the past 20 years. Malawi is considering legalizing the cultivation of industrial hemp as an alternative cash crop to tobacco with great potential. This study considers the potential and challenges of creating an industrial hemp value chain between South Africa and Malawi, with Malawi concentrating on upstream cultivation and South Africa on downstream value-adding activity. The research supports a finding that industrial hemp offers strong opportunities as a niche market even if mainstream demand is slow to materialize or does not materialize at all. It also shows that undertaking such an inter-regional endeavour would be considerably more complicated than initially envisaged, given the agricultural structure and operation of the Malawian economy and its smallholder farmers.

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TIPS acknowledges the support of the SA-TIED programme for this working paper, with special thanks to UNU-WIDER and the South African Department of Trade and Industry.

Published in Trade and Industry