By Thobekile Khumalo
THE Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency (ZIDA) has called upon investors to inject funds in medicinal cannabis for the sector’s growth and sustainability.
ZIDA has so far issued 57 cannabis cultivation licences, which include financiers from Germany, Switzerland, Canada and as well some local players to cultivate and process medicinal cannabis.
Investors own 100% of their projects.
ZIDA Chief Development Officer, Silibaziso Chizwina said investors should consider investing in medicinal cannabis.
“Zimbabwe boasts of fertile soils for agriculture our investors should consider doing medicinal cannabis when they go into agriculture. This is strictly medicinal cannabis and not for any other use,” she said.
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Chizwina said their work as ZIDA was to create a conducive environment for the investors.
“We make sure that the investors are made to be comfortable by being offering the different services under our one stop services and investments centre.
“As ZIDA we do not only licence investment, but the facilitation process starts from licences all the way through up to project implementation,” she said.
Chizwina added: “ZIDA is also a regulator of all special economic zones in the country. With certain incentives attached to those investments.”
Companies should not invest to get incentives, but for the betterment of the nation, she highlighted.
“Investment should not be incentive driven.That is not about incentives but as investors we need to ask ourselves if we are going into the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) for the benefit of our country, or is it for the benefit of our companies only,” she said.
“If, as company, you decide to apply for a SEZ licence and it’s incentives, you should be able to create employment, have technological skills that you are going to transfer in terms of this investment.
“Also, what are the linkages with the local domestic industry because there has to be linkages and value chains have to be created and asking to what extent will I be exporting, and if need be at what grade am I going to substitute imports.”
Chinzwa also said SEZ licences should be for the benefit of the country and they contribute to economic growth.