The Guyana Hemp Association (GHA) calls on President David Granger and the APNU+AFC administration to inform the nation about what is causing the delay in the removal of the legislative barriers for the cultivation of industrial hemp and the manufacture of the wide variety of hemp products in the country.
The GHA would like to know if the government is really keen on the establishment of the green state and expanding economic investment so as to promote sustainable economic growth and create thousands of jobs for Guyanese, mainly our youth, as promised. We are getting no feedback from the government so we are not certain where we are at this point.
For over a year now, the GHA has requested a meeting with the Head of State but were directed to meet with the Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin. The meeting was held but to date there has been no feedback. One of our affiliates, the West Demerara Hemp Farmers Association also requested a meeting with President Granger but were informed by letter, dated January 13, 2017 signed by the President suggesting they meet with Agriculture Minister Noel Holder prior to the meeting with him. To date that meeting cannot be arranged.
Another group, the Hemp for Victory Guyana Campaign requested an engagement with the Head of State but were informed by letter signed by Nancy Ferreira, Senior Confidential Secretary to the President, that the Head of State noted that meetings have already been held with government officials and it is not convenient for a meeting to be programmed at this time.
The same group also requested to meet with the Minister of Agriculture but were informed by letter that hemp production is against the law.
The Guyana Hemp Association and other Hemp Associations countrywide applied to the Department of Cooperatives of the Ministry of Social Protection to be registered. As requested all documents and in some cases payment of required fees were done as instructed by officials of the unit, but now we are informed that hemp is illegal and no registration could be approved.
But these same groups were able to register as business enterprises at the Commercial Registry.
The Guyana Hemp Association and its affiliates are still waiting for the promises made by the Editor of the Guyana Chronicle, Mr Godfrey Wray and the Chief Executive Officer of the National Communications Network, Mr Lennox Cornette to provide more media coverage to the hemp lobbying programme.
The West Demerara Hemp Farmers Association wrote Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo for his intervention for the state media to provide more publicity but were informed that the request has been sent to the Chairs of the Board of Directors of NCN and GNNL for their attention.
Guyanese are still waiting for the Good Life as promised.
Michael D Kirton