South Africa has sent out its first commercial shipment of medical cannabis. The shipment of Dry Cannabis Flower left for Switzerland last week from Cape Town International Airport.
It is the first of several shipments to their Swiss client, following a historic first shipment of cannabis in-vitro tissue culture to a licensed producer in North Macedonia.
The cannabis was produced and exported by Felbridge, a leading South African cannabis cultivator and supplier. The company is owned by the Zetler family, who are better known for their strawberry farms.
They opened a cannabis division in 2019, after getting permission for a 14,000m² facility in Stellenbosch.
Timeslive.co.za quoted Leslie Zetler, Felbridge CEO, as saying: “Exporting South Africa’s first commercial shipment of medical cannabis to Europe represents our most significant milestone to date.
It is a major achievement not only for our group but for the South African cannabis and hemp industry and it reinforces our belief that our genetics, which are developed using artificial intelligence breeding technologies, will continue to experience strong demand from the European market.”
And, in Zimbabwe, before USAID intervention, banana farming was a low-income enterprise.
Growers earned less than $200 per year due to a lack of formal markets and very low yields. Where monthly yields used to be only 30 to 50 kgs of bananas, individuals are now able to produce over 1,000 kgs per month.
The region has gone from producing 2,000 tons in 2011 to more than 27,000 tons presently, contributing more than $7,5 million to the rural economy each year.
More than 600 banana producers who received technical assistance in agriculture techniques that transformed their farming practices and increased their production and incomes.
As those farmers passed on their knowledge to others in their community, today, two years after USAID’s project ended, there are now several commercial banana farmers.
The farmers are doing well, considering that Agritex estimates that 684 tons of bananas are marketed from Honde Valley on a weekly basis, with 45 percent of the bananas going through the formal market channels, while 55 percent go through the informal market channels.