Farmers in the Ukraine could soon be growing cannabis plants in their fields.
Draft proposals going before the country’s government seeking to legalise the medical use of the drug include plans to permit regulated local cultivation of cannabis for both the internal market and export.
Given that agriculture is one of Ukraine’s strongest sectors – with approximately 41.5 million hectares given over to farming or 70 per cent of its territory – the new crop could have huge potential for the industry.
The country also boasts about a quarter of the world’s reserves of black soil – rich growing ground containing humus with high percentages of phosphoric acids, phosphorus, and ammonia.
The move towards allowing the use of medical cannabis – currently banned in the Ukraine – follows the results of a nationwide poll, instigated by the country’s president, that showed substantial support for the move.
Several proposals on regulation of cannabis are currently being worked through by the Ukrainian parliament and it is possible leglisation may be put forward before the end of this year.
The Ukrainian Agribussiness Club Association (UCAB), meanwhile, says exports of the country’s major grain crops halved in physical terms last month and were down 41 per cent in value.
A UCAB press office said: “In the first month of the new year, 2.65 million tonnes of grain was shipped abroad, which was 53 per ent down against the same period last year.”
Corn exports were down by 56 per cent, to 1.99 million tonnes, and wheat by 45 per cent, to 507,000 tonnes.
Last year’s grain harvest in the Ukraine was down seven million tonnes on 2019, at 65.4 million tonnes total.