February 8, 2023

Following meetings held by the National Agency for the Legalization of Cannabis with kief farmers in the three provinces where the cultivation of the plant is permitted, new disputes and demands have been raised by the farmers to the office of the agency’s acting director, Mohamed El Kruj.

A number of farmers are calling for the identification of fields for cultivation of this plant and for an end to the complaints of the High Commission for Water and Forestry, according to which it is monitoring a number of farmers on charges of illegal exploitation of land.

Among the points of contention between local cooperatives in the Kutam region in particular and the north as a whole are the share that each cooperative will receive from targeted subsidies, the way to solve water problems, incomparable infrastructure between regions, and the issue of amnesty for local farmers.

Abdullah al-Jut, a civic activist from the Bab Bard district, said: “The farmers are calling for reconciliation and an end to the prosecution against them.”

Al-Jut added in a statement to Hespress that “land ownership is a major issue for farmers in the region as there are disputed lands claimed by the Water and Forest Commission.”

He continued: “There are officials who hold positions in the Agency for the Rationalization of Conditions in the city of Schauen, who used to work in the General Directorate of Water and Forest Resources, which represents a state of conflict due to the presence of disputes between farmers and the delegate.”

Al-Jut demanded that land be owned by farmers with government funding and dispute resolution, stressing that “the land issue is real, as is the issue of water and the formation and involvement of farmers.”

Farmers don’t know “the type of seed they will use in the growing process, the area and space for storage and processing,” al-Jut said, urging attention to these issues.

For his part, Muhammad Abbott, a civic activist in the Kutama region, said: “Among the challenges that farmers in the region face is determining the real estate base for growing cannabis,” noting that “80 percent of this land belongs to water and forests, and farmers consider them with their own.”

Abbott added in a statement to electronic newspaper Hespress that “the identification of the forest king, for example in the Kutama and Asakin districts, dates back to 1992, and a large number of farmers did not participate in this process, despite having a certificate of ownership.”

And he said that “local authorities previously promised farmers to present a certificate of land use, which will serve as a license, but the new law requires a certificate of ownership for farming.”

Abbott explained that “among the proposed solutions is the provision of a lease that the Water and Forest Commission will present to the farmers, but the majority of the population rejects this proposal, claiming that the land is their original property.”

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