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ZA: Cannabis training for 100 growers

Training Force, in collaboration with Cheeba Cannabis Training, has embarked on an initiative to train a diverse group of 100 local farmers in the cultivation and value chain surrounding the production of industrial hemp. The training, which took place at the Fort Cox Agriculture and Forestry Training Institute in Middledrift just north of King Williams Town, was funded by the Eastern Cape Rural Development Association and delivered in partnership with the Training Force and Cheeba Cannabis Training.

The comprehensive course covered the agricultural element of hemp cultivation, including the various industrial applications of hemp and how to harvest and process the plants. It also incorporated areas such as the legal framework of the hemp industry, how to produce a number of products from the hemp plant, taking the products to market, and various other elements in the hemp supply chain.

"Hemp has so many different applications, from textiles, paper, and food to construction, cosmetics, energy production in the form of biofuels, and more. It also supports efforts to decarbonize, as it can even be utilized as a biodegradable plastic alternative and has multiple environmental benefits, including carbon sequestration, prevention of soil erosion, and improvement of biodiversity. However, growing hemp is only part of getting this burgeoning industry off the ground in South Africa," says Linda Siboto, Director and Co-Founder of Cheeba Cannabis Training

"Together with Training Force, we developed and delivered a comprehensive program that included a significant practical component. This covered how to plant hemp seed and manage fields as well as low-tech applications for the hemp plant, such as hemp bricks, cosmetics, hemp milk, and manual decortication to make things like basic fibers like rope. The course also included a module aligned with the AgriSETA National Certificate in Plant Production. This unique program is a first in the country and will empower the farmers to develop both the value and supply chain around industrial hemp production," he adds.


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