"We could sell it for six times the price"

Zimbabwean growers hoping to change from tobacco to cannabis

Zimbabwean farmers looking to cash in on a global boom in medicinal cannabis face many costs and regulatory barriers, but growers like Munyaradzi Nyanungo are betting it will boost their fortunes after decades of economic decline.

The southern African country became one of the first in Africa to legalize the production of medicinal cannabis in 2018, hoping for a fresh income stream of badly needed export dollars, and has issued 57 licenses.

With finance coming in from foreign companies like U.S.-based King Kong Organics, black farmers like Nyanungo, 35 -- who have struggled to prosper in a moribund economy -- are looking to branch out from traditional crops like tobacco into cannabis.

"We stand to sell cannabis at $25 per kilogram, which is five, six times more than what a good tobacco crop can give you. We are actually sitting on a green gold mine," Nyanungo said.

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