Hemp Today report..
Hemp stakeholders in Paraguay say the government is favoring large business interests to the disadvantage of peasant farmers in contravention of earlier decrees that call for the support of small producers.
The government “only supports extensive and mechanized hemp cultivation” despite previously declaring hemp in the national interest and important to family farmers, the Paraguayan Chamber of Industrial Cannabis (Cannapy) said after a recent shipment of seeds intended for small farmers was held up by customs. Officials from the National Plant and Seed Health and Quality Service said the seeds must go to the Paraguayan Institute of Agrarian Technology (IPTA) for evaluation and testing before a listing in the country’s official plant registry.
Meanwhile 300 hectares of hemp were sown “in record time” at the end of March last year by big agriculture concerns without bureaucracy or other problems, and with government authorization, Cannapy claimed.
Paraguay’s Ministry of Agriculture (MAG) last year approved a request from Healthy Grains SA, a farming and agriculture consulting firm, to import 17 seed varieties from Hungary, France, China and the United States. The company is conducting trials in fields under IPTA authorization to assess which varieties will best adapt to the country’s soil and climate. The government has officially recognized another association, the Paraguay Industrial Hemp Chamber (CCIP), and three hemp operating licenses have already been granted.