hemp plants

Does South Africa Allow Farmers To Grow Hemp?

The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Ms Thoko Didiza wishes to announce the opening of the application process for HEMP permits effectively today, Friday, 29 October 2021.  This follows the declaration of HEMP as an agricultural crop under the Plant Improvement Act, no.53 of 1976.   This Act provides for import and export control of certain plants and propagating material, maintaining the quality of such plants and propagating material, and ensuring the usefulness of the products thereof for agricultural and industrial purposes.

It is important to indicate that both hemp and dagga are plants of the same genus, namely Cannabis.  However, commercial use of dagga remains prohibited in terms of the Drugs & Drug Trafficking Act 140 of 1992.

The declaration of HEMP as an agricultural crop now allows importation, exportation, cultivation, sale and research of hemp in South Africa.

This is a step towards the development of the Cannabis Master Plan which aims to provide a broad framework for the development and growth of the South African Cannabis industry in order to contribute to economic development, job creation, inclusive participation, rural development and poverty alleviation. Conservative estimates indicate that 25 000 jobs could be created across the various value chains.

We appreciate the fact that various rural communities and farmers across South Africa have been planting hemp for many years. These farmers and traders will be prioritized to ensure that the commercialization of hemp contributes to their socio-economic upliftment.  We are working with the provincial departments and national departments to ensure that adequate support is provided to producers including value addition.

A call is thus made to all interested growers, researchers, processors and manufacturers to apply for hemp permits. Application forms, guidelines, requirements and guidelines are accessible on the department’s website, www.dalrrd.gov.za. Follow the Plant Production link.

For technical enquiries contact:
Mr. Thabo Ramashala
067 410 4246
ThaboR@dalrrd.gov.za(link sends e-mail) or

Media Liaison Officer and Spokesperson
Mr Reggie Ngcobo
Cell: 066 2980980
Email: MLO.Minister@dalrrd.gov.za(link sends e-mail)

Eviction Toll-free Number 0800 007 095