Time for growing marijuana for export is now

Tuesday April 30 2019

Pending deal. Police officers burn marijuana in

Pending deal. Police officers burn marijuana in Buikwe District on April 19. FILE PHOTO 

By Edward Baliddawa Kafuufu

At the ceremony to receive two Bombardiers on April 23, President Museveni gave an interesting analogy to emphasise the science of management. He gave the example of making a millet meal. He said in cooking millet, you must have the right temperature stage of the water at which you add the millet flour. He went on to say if you add the flour when the water hasn’t reached the boiling point, you risk ending up with uncooked millet, which can be a problem of indigestion to those who will eat it. In the same way, if you leave the water to over boil, you will end up with an empty saucepan or very little water that won’t be sufficient to mix and mingle the flour.

In essence, his message was that in management of public affairs, one must know when the time is right for certain decisions or actions. I can’t agree more with the wisdom of the President on this.
Let’s extend the same analogy to the situation our country is facing today in regard to the growing of cannabis for export. We are told that three years ago, the total global market value of the cannabis export business was merely $200m. However, we are told that due to the increasing demand for cannabis for clinical use, this value has jumped to $5b. It is also stated that Britain is the one enjoying the largest share of this export to the US and Canada.

It is further estimated that the value of this business is to double in the next two years and that many other countries are jumping into the business as potential suppliers. Now, here is where the analogy of cooking millet fits in well and renders useful wisdom to our Minister of Health.

In as much as she could have been wise not to have allowed the cannabis growing last year or in the years before when the market value of the business was small, there is no longer any logical reason now for continuing to deny investors growing and exporting the same. The timing is right today for her no objection. Any continued procrastination is detrimental not only to the investors, but also to the economy that desperately needs more foreign exchange. Edward Baliddawa Kafuufu,