Catlins grower continues to promote hemp growth

Mack McIntosh
Mack McIntosh
Despite years of hurdles and heartache, the Catlins man pushing for the development of the hemp industry is refusing to give in, his annual report reveals.

Mac McIntosh, of Tawanui, has spent the last few years developing his Aotearoa1 hemp crop, fighting to get it legalised and recognised by officials as a legitimate crop for farmers and others wanting to diversify their land use.

The battle to get recognition and the go-ahead for a full-scale hemp crop has taken several years and Mr McIntosh, in his report, sounds weary and tired of the constant setbacks.

Yet he still sends a determined message in his report.

"I cannot let Aotearoa1 disappear, that would be a criminal act of negligence on my part, which is what will occur should I not be able to pass the baton."

One of his major backers, the Clutha Agricultural Development Board, recently hinted it may have to reconsider its support, purely because of the resources it may require.

Mr McIntosh said he had always wanted the Aotearoa1 cultivar to be owned by a community group.

He said the fight over many years had cost a lot of money and also been a physical challenge as he battles chronic fatigue syndrome.

But he said he continued to be committed to the cause "because I remain convinced New Zealand does need industrial hemp in an increasingly judgemental and competitive world."


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