EThekwini Municipality issued an invitation to local farmers or cultivators for an expression of interest to pilot hemp and cannabis seeds for trials and distribution for the commercialisation of cannabis.
In a statement on Wednesday, the City said the invitation is in accordance with the municipality’s 10-year Agri-Business Masterplan.
The plan includes cannabis as the fifth commodity for development of the sector. Other commodities are vegetables, sheep, piggery, and poultry.
The City said the five commodities are part of a 10-year plan aimed at guiding the municipality to unlock opportunities and jobs for AgriSMMEs trading in these commodities to boost local economies.
The programme is spearheaded under the Agri-Business department of the municipality.
Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said this process will enable the City to pilot and develop the hemp and cannabis sector towards full commercialisation in accordance with the South African Cannabis Legislation.
“The eThekwini Agribusiness Masterplan has identified cannabis as one of the key commodities that must be supported and developed to promote the local economy and job creation. The Agribusiness Masterplan aims to attract investment of R1 billion over a 10-year period to unlock economic value worth R10bn and create 10 000 new jobs,” he said.
He said the purpose of the pilot project is to assist farmers to familiarise themselves with growing methods and to become accustomed to this new crop.
“The intention is to run trials for four to six cycles to document learning and acclimatise the seed into the local environment. The focus will be on indigenous land raised strains and exotic strains which can be indigenised into the local environment and grown under a controlled environment,” he said.
According to Kaunda, during the trial period, strains that have done well in specific areas will be identified, improved and crossed, creating hybrids specific to regions.
He further explained that once these hybrids are stabilised and feminised, they will be registered as local land raised strains and start the commercialisation process.
The mayor said the purpose of the pilot project is to assist farmers to familiarise themselves with growing methods and to become accustomed to this new crop.
“The intention is to run trials for four to six cycles to document learning and acclimatise the seed into the local environment. The focus will be on indigenous land raised strains and exotic strains which can be indigenised into the local environment and grown under a controlled environment,” said Kaunda.
The application/proposal submission process for the pilot hemp and cannabis seeds programme includes:
- Applications must consist of a detailed proposal on how the objective’s pilot project can be implemented in eThekwini Municipality in alignment with the Agribusiness Masterplan.
- Proposals should clearly detail the organisational expertise on cannabis development and commercialisation.
- A detailed financial model with financial contribution that will be provided by the applicant.
- All submitted proposals will be evaluated against the objectives of the pilot hemp and cannabis seed for trials and distribution to local farmers/cultivators for commercialisation of cannabis.
- The outcome of whether the proposal is accepted or declined will be guided by a Council decision with applicants advised accordingly.
The City said all applications must be delivered to the Agribusiness department offices by no later than 17 November 2023 at 4.30pm.
“No electronic submissions will be accepted,” advised the City.
The Agri-Business Department is located at the Durban Fresh Produce Market, 81 Flower Road, Clairwood, Durban, 4052.
For more information on terms and conditions, please visit eThekwini Municipality’s website: www.durban.gov.za and click on the Government tab and then the Documents sub-tab. Browse to Public Notices and scroll to Public Notices November 2023. Alternatively, download the full advert.