Road to Zimbabwe Hemp Industry
Tafadzwa DuToit Nyamande
Hello good people.
My name is Tafadzwa Dutoit Nyamande and I am the Head of Industrial Hemp Business Development for Zimbabwe Industrial Hemp Trust(ZIHT). ZIHT is the leading organisation steering the development of the hemp industry in Zimbabwe. From 2 years ago we were involved in the lobbying with the government for the recognition/legalisation of hemp agriculture. In August this year, the government released the statutory instrument recognising hemp as agricultural commodity. ZIHT hold holds the first cannabis research licence and in October we planted the first hemp pilot project in Zimbabwe.
Early this year I enrolled for an MOOC hosted by The World Bank Open Learning Campus, Unlocking Investment and Finance in Emerging Markets and Developing Economies. Despite my finance background, this course introduced me to social impact principles and paved a path for me to enroll in the Blockchain for Business Professional Certificate that ultimately landed me here.
I believe hemp carries profound social impact opportunities for Zimbabwe as a poor country in dire need for economic and social development. I seek an opportunity to engage with the Hyperledger community to develop solutions in the following areas:
1. Setting up a diaspora equity investment fund to get Zimbabweans in the diaspora community to be directly and actively involved as part of a blended finance strategy. The diaspora constitutes the largest source of foreign currency contributions to the economy yet has limited opportunities/trust to invest in developing the country.
2. Bringing together a consortium of global companies in the hemp industry that will benefit in the downstream and upstream opportunities from 'seed-to-sale'. Involvement will include, particularly but not limited to, players in hemp bioplastics, hemp biodiesel/renewable energy, hemp for paper industries, building with hemp/lime mixture aka hempcrete as well as hemp fiber for textiles. We will consider PPP arrangements as well as other innovative solutions.
3. The involvement of small holder farmers in hemp farming, SMEs in supply chain, provenance tracking and identity management.
4. Using DLTs and perhaps cryptocurrencies combined with available tools from World Bank and other development finance institutions to hedge against political and currency risk.
5. The development of rural communities and rural growth point into satellite economic hubs perhaps leading into the formation of a smart city/economic zone on the backdrop of a hemp circular economy.
Zimbabwe has significant low production cost and climate advantages to allow 3 or 4 harvests a year. I envision impact in millions of people's lives and a true revival of a trouble yet naturally well resourced economy. Hemp is a fast growing plant with can grow in many regions of the country way more sustainably than, cotton, tobacco or even trees. Most Zimbabweans own productive land owing to the infamous land resettlement program as well as traditional farmlands.
I look forward to engaging with the Hyperledger social impact SIG. I have made this my life task and I am prepared to be on the ground working with experts in their different fields in perhaps the most ambitious project of our generation, developing new industries from scratch as well as reviving old one but in a sustainable direction.
One love and kind regards
Tafadzwa Dutoit Nyamande.