Guyana looking to tap into multi-billion-dollar hemp industry

Guyana is exploring tapping into the lucrative hemp industry.

His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali made the disclosure on Sunday at a press conference hosted at State House.

“There is a great opportunity that lies ahead in terms of the hemp industry and what it can do in terms of the technological push and construction material, pharmaceuticals,” the President highlighted.

His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali at Sunday’s press conference

President Ali said the numbers he has seen on the return per acre in the hemp industry are unbelievable.

The results of the 2021 Hemp Acreage and Production Survey in its National Hemp Report, which shows data of hemp grown in the open and under protection in the United States [US], stated that the value of U.S hemp production in the open totalled $712 million. The value of production for hemp that was grown under protection in the U.S totalled $112 million.

According to the Global Industrial Hemp Markets Report 2021-2028, published by GlobeNewswire in November 2021, the global industrial hemp market size is expected to reach US$12.01 billion by 2028 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 16.2 percent from 2021 to 2028.

It is also projected that the upscaling utilisation of hemp oil in food and beverage products for its dietary benefits is expected to increase the demand for hemp over the forecast period.

Population growth, coupled with the rising per capita disposable income, is expected to result in the increased demand for high-quality cosmetics, personal care products, protein supplements, and other health food products. These factors are expected to drive the market over the projected period.

Meanwhile, President Ali said he will be engaging marijuana farmers on the possibility of them taking advantage of this industry.

“I intend to have very soon, a meeting with all the marijuana growers in this country,” he noted.

Aside from the economic benefits of hemp cultivation, President Ali said he hopes the engagement would deter persons from planting the narcotic that has social consequences.

“I intend to have a meeting and to let them understand that there is a viable future in the hemp industry and bring them into that discussion and move away from the marijuana that has social consequences and come into mainstream economic activity that does not have that impact, that will give them more returns.”

The Head of State said he is realistic and would not be naive to the fact that the marijuana farmers possess the ability to help the industry flourish. “They already have the experience in growing… they come with the technical skills frankly speaking,” the President stated.

Some of the uses for hemp include rope, textiles, clothing, shoes, food, paper, bioplastics, insulation, and biofuel. This is in addition to a number of medical purposes.

Hemp seeds are particularly rich in healthy fats, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Both of these fats are known for improving heart health by reducing cholesterol, blood pressure, and triglycerides.