Germany-based company Amatheon Agri receives approval to grow medicinal cannabis in Zimbabwe

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BERLIN, GERMANY: THE Zimbabwe Ministry of Health has approved Amatheon Agri’s license to manufacture cannabis for medical and scientific purposes

The company is now beginning an evaluation and planning phase for the cultivation and production of a range of cannabidiol (CBD) products

The value of the global medical cannabis industry was estimated at around $ 21 billion in 2020, with very high estimated annual growth rates over the next five years as more countries approve its use

Amatheon Agri’s subsidiary in Zimbabwe was founded in 2014 and is aiming for a first mover advantage as the country returns to working with the international community and encouraging agricultural investment.

This extremely high-quality harvest supports Amatheon Agri’s strategic expansion into export markets and diversified offers in order to achieve additional profit margins

Amatheon Agri Holding NV, the Euronext-listed agribusiness group, announced today (Monday) that its subsidiary Amatheon Agri Zimbabwe has obtained a license to manufacture medicinal cannabis in Zimbabwe.

This is the first and important regulatory step and allows the company to enter a detailed planning phase during which it will identify the location, variety and protocols required for production. As a highly regulated and extremely high quality crop, this new product will further diversify Amatheon Agri’s export portfolio and lead its entry into the specialty product market.

Medical cannabis boom

Medical cannabis legalization continues to gain momentum around the world. North America remains the largest market, with expected advances in legalization for both medical and recreational uses likely to drive future growth.

The US market research company BDSA estimates a global market volume of 21.3 billion US dollars for 2020 with expected global sales of 55.9 billion US dollars in 2026. This would mean an average annual market growth of more than 17% (CAGR) mean.

There is increasing awareness among patients and health professionals of the benefits of medicinal cannabis for a variety of ailments. In addition to medical applications, current trends include the manufacture of edible products with cannabis, coupled with an increasing use as functional food with alleged health benefits, as well as use in the cosmetics industry.

Lucrative future industry

Today’s announcement marks the beginning of the second project phase, the detailed planning phase, which will bring the project to execution. This is expected to happen in the coming months when the company finalizes its plans. The license is granted for a five-year renewal option and the entire project is subject to strict controls and compliance regulations.

“This approval lays the foundation for Amatheon Agri’s entry into a highly lucrative future industry,” says founder and CEO of Amatheon Agri Holding NV, Mr. Carl Heinrich Bruhn. “With this license we can now start planning a scalable project that will significantly support our business growth in this specialized market,” says Bruhn.

Zimbabwean opportunity unparalleled

Amatheon Agri founded its subsidiary in Zimbabwe in 2014 and has since engaged in various joint ventures in the country. “Despite the economic challenges, we firmly believe in the future of Zimbabwe and it remains a priority in our strategic outlook,” says Bruhn.

“The variety of landscapes, ideal climatic conditions, abundant water supply, long hours of sunshine and a talented job market make the country well equipped for our new investment,” he says.

During Mr Bruhn’s recent visit to Zimbabwe, he met with the Honorable Vice President and Minister of Health, Dr. Constantino Chiwenga, who highlighted his appreciation for Amatheon Agri’s new investment initiative in the country.

Spices: growth drivers with high profit margins

Amatheon Agri’s priority remains to expand its business with products with a high profit margin, especially in the export market. In line with this strategy, the company is now concentrating on the large-scale cultivation of spices, in particular Birds Eye Chilies and Cayenne Peppers.

The cultivation of these products has already started, and experiments are being carried out on coriander, garlic, ginger, turmeric and cumin seeds. This stands alongside the company’s established export portfolio of superfoods such as quinoa, chia and moringa.

The core idea of ​​combining direct commercial agriculture with the production of neighboring small farmers (outgrowers) remains central to Amatheon Agri’s growth strategy.

As recently announced, the company grows chillies on its own farms and also supplies a network of around 4,000 smallholders with seeds.

Amatheon guarantees the purchase through a contract cultivation contract in which the farmers receive a fixed purchase price linked to the US dollar and then market the products regionally and internationally. This approach offers both the farmer and the company planning security.